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DR UK welcomes Govt acceptance of task group recommendations for bus wheelchair spaces

08 March 2018

The Task and Finish Group on the Use of Wheelchair Spaces on Buses’ has made 4 specific recommendations to clarify the position for bus companies following the Paulley decision.

The Government has accepted these recommendations in principle

Welcoming the decision, Philip Connolly, policy manager for Disability Rights UK, said:

“The Government appear to have a new policy position that will be enforceable, providing they are willing to change the law.

“This is not a case of wheelchairs versus buggies, it is a move which should restore rights to access transport to wheelchair users.

"Disability Rights UK was at the forefront in demanding a change in the law as the only viable solution to this issue. We hold the government to their promise.”


The Supreme Court upheld Doug Paulley’s appeal against being refused a wheelchair space on a First Group bus.

At the time, Disability Rights expressed disappointment that the decision did not go further as we felt greater clarification was needed.  DR UK had already made recommendations for a change in the law in our response to the Bus Conduct regulations consultation.

The Department for Transport established a stakeholder ‘Task and Finish Group on the Use of Wheelchair Spaces on Buses’. This was to help the Department understand the implications of the judgment for disabled people, the bus industry and other passengers, and to identify actions for government and others to take to ensure that required adjustments can be provided on buses.

The 4 recommendations of the group are:

  • That the Public Service Vehicles (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers) Regulations 1990 (the Conduct Regulations) are amended to enable drivers to remove passengers from the bus who unreasonably refuse to move when requested from the wheelchair space
  • The associated guidance is amended to better reflect the behaviours expected from drivers and passengers with respect to use of the wheelchair space
  • Further work is conducted to consider how best to raise public awareness of the behaviours expected from passengers with respect to the wheelchair space, for example a public awareness campaign, or improved signage on buses
  • That conditions of carriage and disability awareness training best practice guidance are updated to reflect the fact that passengers will be required to move from the wheelchair space should it be required by a passenger in a wheelchair