Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

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

08:52 07 February 2013

Not all First Eastern Counties

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.

shares

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.”

shares

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

Fire crews were called to Fraser House in Museum Street, Ipswich after a suspected gas leak was reported

A suspected gas leak forced the evacuation of a two storey building in Ipswich this morning.

Andrew Renton takes his first public walk at a neuro conference with the help of Headway Physiotherapist Karen Hardy, left, and Acquired Brain Injury Support Worker Chloe Witton, right.

For most of us walking is a luxury too easily taken for granted.

The A12

The A12 has been reopened after being closed by a four-vehicle crash earlier.

Landscape gardener jailed

An “unscrupulous” landscape gardener accused of posting flyers containing misleading information through the doors of several elderly and vulnerable people in the Felixstowe area has been jailed for 10 months.

Janine Edgar with son Jonty

A mum from Hadleigh is backing a Cancer Research UK campaign asking more people to remember the charity in their wills.

The new building for Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard. Headteacher, Wayne Lloyd is pictured.

Students beginning the new school year in west Suffolk next Monday will return to a brand new multi-million pound state-of-the-art building.

Grand opening of the new premises for the Stowmarket and Area Foodbank. 
L-R:  Stowmarket Mayor Barry Salmon, Mike Smith and Needham Market Mayor Josephine Lee.

A Suffolk town’s foodbank has officially moved into its own premises.

Gallery:Back to school with Kindred Spirits

Yesterday, 17:41
Playtime fun at Clifford Road, School, Ipswich, in March 1974. What playtime games do you recall? (Photo by Paul Nixon/Archant)

Schools soon begin another term and proud parents will be filling Facebook with first day at school photos.

Fire crews were sent to a lorry fire in Stansfield

Firefighters from Wickhambrook and Clare were sent to a lorry fire overnight.

A spooky procession through Christchurch Park before the start of the fireworks in 2014

There will be an army of ghouls and zombies filling Christchurch Park next month – but do not let that put you off watching Ipswich’s Halloween firework display.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages