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Wheelchairs or pushchairs: Who should take priority? - Carers UK Forum

Wheelchairs or pushchairs: Who should take priority?

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
A court will decide whether wheelchair users have priority over pushchairs on buses, but how do you decide who is more entitled to the space?

Article here.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-ouch-30001656
They were talking about this on our radio yesterday. In my own view, as a mum, I believe that wheelchair users must take priority. After all, mums can take their babies out of their pushchairs and carry the baby. Can't do that with an adult! I know that some pushchairs don't fold up small like mine used to. That's a purchasing decision. If you want to use public transport with a baby, get a bus friendly pushchair!!! I drive a Land Rover Discovery, rather than a mini, because a mini can't go off road or tow a caravan, which I needed to do in connection with my work and my hobby. As a result, I can't park in small spaces in the High Street, and might have to walk further from a better spot. It's the same sort of purchasing decision really. The wheelchair user has no choice, the mum with a buggy has.
It seems a no brainer for me, it's not that long ago that buses weren't pushchair or wheelchair friendly and I have very clear memories of developing the fine art of holding the baby under one arm whilst collapsing the buggy with the other. I cannot for the life of me get my head around the mentality of anyone refusing to help someone else if they are able to (disabled or not) - if you can move, switch seats or take up less space in some way in order to get someone else on a bus then I just can't understand what sort of world we live in now where some people won't do it unless a court makes it a legal requirement??!!
This has got me thinking (in between my boring filing!) Surely there already is a legal requirement - the bus company have a legal duty to make "reasonable adjustments" under the Equality Act (Formerly Disability Discrimination Act)? I'm not aware of any such requirement for mums with babies with big pushchairs?!?! I understand from the radio article I heard that the mum refused to move her pushchair and baby because the baby was asleep, but again, there's nothing I know of for sleeping babies. In fact when I had babies their car seats didn't come out, so I was regularly in the habit of moving sleeping babies!
As a parent and grand parent myself I believe parenthood is a life-style choice, disability is not. You can't fold up a disability...
bowlingbun wrote:They were talking about this on our radio yesterday. In my own view, as a mum, I believe that wheelchair users must take priority. After all, mums can take their babies out of their pushchairs and carry the baby. Can't do that with an adult! I know that some pushchairs don't fold up small like mine used to. That's a purchasing decision. If you want to use public transport with a baby, get a bus friendly pushchair!!! I drive a Land Rover Discovery, rather than a mini, because a mini can't go off road or tow a caravan, which I needed to do in connection with my work and my hobby. As a result, I can't park in small spaces in the High Street, and might have to walk further from a better spot. It's the same sort of purchasing decision really. The wheelchair user has no choice, the mum with a buggy has.
Not all mums CAN take the child/children out of the buggy. Ever tried getting on a bus on your own with baby twins, triplets, etc? Or what about those children who use a buggy due to disability such as those who use the disabled buggies for kids too big for baby buggies & look like big toddler buggy & might be mistaken for one by those ignorant of such matters. Or what about those who have autism and like many children with autism will run off (especially if you have twins both with autism).

On the subject of parking spaces these days I don't think disability benefits are a good judge of who should get a blue badge. PIPs walking distance criteria is too short and children who's legs work but have other disability reasons that they need to use those spaces can't get higher level mobility DLA simply because their legs work. I had the problem that I couldn't reverse the car out of the space without strapping my twins in because they would climb all over the car etc but needed to open the car door properly to strap them in & get them into the car from their disabled buggy. If there was no parent & child parking I could only park if the space had a path down at least one side and my situation is quite mild in comparisson to some of can't get a blue badge. For some they can't get the person very far once out of the car even due to behavioural problems, safety issues, etc.
It seems a bit 'horrible' that two sets of people with needs should have to 'slug it out' for priority!

However, if one has to do any kind of 'prioritisation' I suppose, strictly speaking, if one has a child in a push chair with medical needs of any kind, then they go into the 'disability' category, and so take 'precedence' over mums with healthy children?

But, overall, as I say, it seems a bit mean to have to 'compete' for places on public transport.
I use public transport and our afternoon bus is packed so much lots of us are standing. It has the public using it and the students from the local colleges. I think wheelchair users and kids with disability should have priority. But unfortunately if you have a child with autism for instance it may not be apparently obvious. I know the kids are rude mannered on my local bus they never stand for the elderly or people struggling with buggies or wheelchairs. In fact before now they sit with their bag next to them taking two seats while people are standing. So i say please move your bag and the dirty look you get ;) the trouble is ordinary people for want of a better word without kiddies in tow or having a disability just dont get how difficult it is for people in that situation. There is not enough funding so less buses the case in my rural area where i live. Plus they charge you a fortune to stand! My bus charges £7.50to go 12 miles to the local town and back and generously knock 50p off for a single ticket. So in a way you can see why people hog their seat. I have a disability bus pass now and because obviously it is not immediately apparent whats wrong with me the bus driver grilled me about why i had the pass!
In answer to the question above, being a carer . I say the wheelchair should have the full priority over the pushchairs in the disabled bay. I always have a job with this problem on trains when I have took time to reserve those seats and areas. The guard always puts a pram or an old age couple in the area that I have legally booked. And I have the paperwork to prove it. It nearly always ends with me informing the guard that I will be informing his employer with full photocopy of all documents. That usually gets the offending persons removed.
Bye,
Bernard.