Tees

Darlington wheelchair users take bus firm Arriva to court

Three wheelchair users in Darlington who claim they have been discriminated against are taking legal action against a bus company.

They say Arriva North East's drivers often drive past them or do not let them on, despite there being space.

One of the three, Ann Dodsworth, 60, who has multiple sclerosis, said she had been left feeling "embarrassed and humiliated" by Arriva's drivers.

Arriva North East said it was "satisfied" with its services.

'Left waiting'

Ms Dodsworth, who is paralysed from the neck down and relies on Arriva North East, said she had experienced buses going by without stopping when she could see empty seats.

She said: "We move forward at the bus stop waiting for them to stop and they just look and go on. You think... have I got two heads here?

Image caption Arriva said it was disappointing to hear that some of its passengers were not satisfied

"They'll drive up and they'll say, 'sorry there's a pushchair on', and that's it, they just drive off, then wait for the other passengers behind me to get on, they let them on and we are left waiting."

The Darlington Association on Disability campaign group said it had received reports that disabled passengers were facing regular discrimination by drivers on several routes in the Darlington area.

Arriva issued a statement in response to the claims, stating: "We are satisfied that we comply with the current guidelines with regard to the Disability Discrimination Act.

"It is disappointing to hear that some customers may not have experienced the level of service we expect.

"We will of course continue to investigate any individual concerns and deal with them in an appropriate manner."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites