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Bus user "ridiculed and belittled" by drivers who refuse help boarding

14 December 2021

A woman says she was left feeling "ridiculed and belittled" by a bus driver who refused to let her young disabled daughter board.

Tameika Pieternella often travels by bus in Abbey Wood, London, with her two year-old daughter D'Naiyah, who has brain damage.

BBC News reports that a driver would not get out a ramp for her daughter's buggy-style wheelchair, while another simply drove off, leaving them at the bus stop. On one occasion, she said, a driver refused to get out a ramp for the buggy as he believed "it was not needed. Instead of letting the ramp out, he shut the bus door and just left us there. I was so hurt because I don't understand why these drivers are so mean."

Disability Rights UK's Rail Policy Advisor Stephen Brookes says: “It is unacceptable that any driver makes a judgement on who should or should not be given assistance to board a bus. In this case, the child who has a severe disability is not being viewed with the same level of concern that disabled passengers should receive.

“Arriva needs to think about its access training and ensure that all disabilities including those with hidden disabilities get fair and equitable treatment on all of its services.”