South East Wales

Disabled toddler's mother in tears over bus seat refusal

Alisha Frost with Jack Image copyright Andrew James/Media Wales
Image caption Alisha Frost had to sit on the floor of the bus, holding onto Jack in his buggy

A mother was left in tears after a bus passenger refused to move from a disabled area for her toddler son, who has cerebral palsy and brain damage.

Alisha Frost, 24, and her 20-month-old son Jack were on their way home to Pontypridd from Cardiff.

She said the driver wouldn't help while the passenger, in her 60s, said she had priority because she was elderly.

Stagecoach has apologised and said it was "extremely disappointing".

Ms Frost said: "I was crying when we left the bus, crying with fury."

She said there were enough other seats on the Merthyr-bound Stagecoach X4 service but a woman was sitting next to the pram area, in a priority seat.

"I asked the driver when I got on if I could have the seat but he said to 'do it yourself'.

"I asked politely if the woman could sit in one of the other seats but she said no. She said she was classed as an elderly person and it was a priority seat.

"I explained Jack was disabled and she said 'what's he got?' and said I should fold the pram up and put him on my knee."

'Wedged'

"I didn't want to tell the rest of the bus his particular circumstances. He can't support himself and can throw himself forward.

"I ended up sitting on the floor holding onto Jack who was wedged next to the seat but we couldn't put the brake on the pram so I was just hoping the bus didn't jerk."

"I couldn't believe the ignorance of disability. I tried to explain to the driver but he said 'I didn't hear anything, love.'"

She said she had received a written apology from Stagecoach and free travel for a month after last Wednesday's incident.

A spokesman said: "We are deeply concerned to learn of this incident.

"All of our drivers receive formal customer care training, so it is extremely disappointing to be told of this lady's and her child's experience, which falls far below the standard that we expect and regularly achieve from the vast majority of drivers employed by us."

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