Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -1°C

Search

Felixstowe: Wheelchair-users facing ‘pot luck’ on the buses

08:52 07 February 2013

Not all First Eastern Counties' buses can take wheelchair-users.

Not all First Eastern Counties' buses can take wheelchair-users.

Archant

DISABLED people are not guaranteed to get a bus ride at Felixstowe – facing “pot luck” when they turn up to wait at a stop, it was claimed today.

Despite thousands of pounds having been spent on raising pavements to provide access to vehicles, not all low-floor buses are suitable for wheelchair users on routes around the town.

Town councillor Michael Sharman described the situation as dreadful and called on people with disabilities to keep a log of times, stops and routes where they had been denied a ride because the bus could not take them.

“I spoke to First Eastern buses about the situation and they told me they were not obliged to provide low-floor buses and that Felixstowe is not on a designated route for them,” he said.

“The bus I travelled back to Felixstowe on one evening this week was 19 years old and there was no way a disabled person could have got onto it. It wasn’t just the step up but it had a dividing barrier for passengers at the entrance, too.

“Apparently, if a person in a wheelchair turns up at a bus stop there is no guarantee they can get onto the bus and they may have to sit and wait for the next one or the one after that. I certainly wouldn’t want to do that in this weather.

“It seems it’s just a matter of luck if you get a ride.

“It is disgusting and a dreadful situation that really needs sorting out.

“I would like to see people in wheelchairs keeping a log of the times, bus numbers and stops where they have had problems.”

A spokesman for First Eastern said all vehicles in the Ipswich fleet were “low floor access” but nine of them do not have facilities on board for passengers with wheelchairs or push-chairs.

“This is an issue we are aware of and are addressing over the coming months by replacing these vehicles with newer, DDA compliant buses that do have the necessary bays for wheelchairs and push-chairs,” he said.

“Wherever possible, we try to ensure that all routes have vehicles that cater for all passengers.”

3 comments

  • Well i suppose we should be thankful that Ipswich buses are 100% DDA compliant then. another black mark against First bus. who in my opinion should be called Worst bus.

    Report this comment

    mr angry

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • Its about time this bus company trained its drivers properly to NOT travel with indicators going for miles. This happens quite a lot.

    Report this comment

    pukkatrukka

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • As someone who has a 'wheelchair user'... I can safely say that this report is 'spot on', but despite some drivers do lower the ramps when they are 'in use'... many sit in their cabins without a care of 'helping'. Many 75's don't even cater for 'wheelchairs, some 66's are so narrow' and the statement of '“I spoke to First Eastern buses about the situation and they told me they were not obliged to provide low-floor buses and that Felixstowe is not on a designated route for them,” he said.... they need to read the 'DDA and transport report... by 2014-15 all buses 'must be wheelchair friendly' and if 'Felixstowe is not a proper route'...why run buses to the 'town'? It does amaze me how 'they say... if a wheelchair wants to get on... but refuse to enforce it'.

    Report this comment

    csiuk2007

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Freezing weather is likely to bring widespread ice and treacherous conditions across Suffolk and north Essex tonight with temperatures as low as -7C forecast for parts of the region.

A Suffolk charity is seeking fundraising fugitives to join its rogues gallery in the slammer.

Suffolk households affected by a burst main this morning may be left without water until midnight.

He risked his life for our freedom, flying in 31 raids on Nazi Germany, and he lived to tell the tale.

‘Crude, clumsy and pointlessly lurid’ or ‘colourful, practical and deliverable’ the design for a Suffolk town’s new-look leisure centre has divided opinion.

The British government must be prepared to stand up to new US President Donald Trump when senior ministers visit him for the first time.

Fast cars, towering mansions and luxurious holidays are usually top of the shopping list for young popstars earning millions of pounds.

Paper owls which were a focal point in a shop’s window display have been sold off to raise cash for Woodbridge Royal British Legion.

A well-attended weekly run is cancelled today due to problems on the course.

Last week an American girl came to work in our office, writes working mum-of-three Ellen Widdup.

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24