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Thread: buses & wheelchair spaces

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    buses & wheelchair spaces

    in my view there should be a layout on the buses for the "wheelchair-door" & wheelchair space that is the same more or less thru the U.K

    i am unsure whether this post suits this forum & if not then please advise which organisation or website might be suitable

    some more details which i hope will clarify

    i use an electric wheelchair which is bigger than standard i.e. it is c.700 mm wide 1200 mm long. i ride alone

    in London where i live the buses have a passenger-door at the front opposite the driver seat & a "wheelchair-door" on the same side as the passenger-door but further down about mid-way

    between the driver seat & the wheelchair space there is an upright wall & near to it on the "corridor-side" there is a vertical pole fixed to the bus-floor & the bus-ceiling. the upright wall the pole etc support the wheelchair-user in the space

    a while ago i briefly visited Birmingham Brighton & Portsmouth

    in those cities the buses have only a passenger-door at the front opposite the driver seat so there is no "wheelchair-door"

    the wheelchair space is on the same side as the passenger-door but a bit further down. on the "corridor-side" about half-way there is a vertical pole fixed to the bus-floor & the bus-ceiling

    on a London bus i steer into the wheelchair space sometimes with difficulty. in the other cities i could not steer past the pole so i exited the bus then got a taxi. an exception was when i was in a manual wheelchair with a helper who heaved the chair into the space

    after successfully using buses in London i am annoyed i cannot do likewise in other cities. one solution is for a common layout but specifically the London bus layout is used widely

    however i ask again: who can i further discuss this with?

    your opinions welcome. actually your opinions crucial!

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Hi jpp,

    We have discussed this problem with space on busses (and trains) before.

    Bus seating can be easily configured any way that is required, the manufacturers specificaly make them that way.

    However its is down to the particular bus company just what configuration they specify.
    Yes they do have to make provision for wheelchairs and child buggies/prams but often use the same space for both.

    In the end it all comes down to the bus operator and not the manufacturer, and the bus operaters want more seats.
    Putting the second door will loose 6 to 8 seats, combine that with extra space for large chairs and they may be loosing as many as 12 seats.

    Who to talk to?
    The bus companies, but remember they are in it to make a profit.
    They are very reluctant to cut down the number of seats available on each bus, even though it is very easy to do.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    many thanx NUKECAD esp. info about seats

    it might help to change the location of that vertical pole

    i s'pose i should discuss this with e.g. Birmingham wheelchair group to see if any more can be done

    & agian thanx

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Hiya, I have no probs as far as getting on and off buses or trains but what I have thought about while sitting in the wheely space on my journey and then tried just for curiosity for leaving the bus is nipping into the buggy space to perform a 180* burly to line you up for exiting instead of trying to judge it so you get round the dreaded pole without getting your inside wheel hooked on said pole. I found this much easier than just turning straight out the wheely space and you have more room to turn. If your in a rear wheel drive just pull straight out the wheely space into the buggy space keeping to the out side and turn in that and drive straight off, if your in a front wheel drive or mid wheel drive head for the centre of the buggy space and do your 180* and then off you go. If this is not possible you can drive straight out the wheely space and reverse off the buss. All of these should be performed in the lowest or 2nd lowest speed and you'll get it no probs. If you really aren't that confident about it pull up to the nearest lamppost or bollard and practice your reversing and positioning, you'll be surprised how quick you pick it up when your just left alone with no pressure from on lookers. Hope this helps....Terry

  5. #5
    A lot buses are made to single door specification and this is set down in the guidelines to operators somewhere, I use to know where but I can't think of it now. Most of the time it should be possible to get from the front door to the wheelchair space without issue, most of the times I have seen this it works, but when you have the pensioner's trolleys and buggies around it can be an issue. I would personally like to see maximum number of trolleys per bus set down to ensure people could reach the seats or wheelchair area easily, this is something which needs looking at as because a lot of pensioners with these trolleys take priority seats for disabled, where there should be a storage area for them so they can keep the priority seats clear for the more legitimate disabled user.

    As most of them don't need those seats it's just there's nowhere to store or put trolleys and this is what needs to change I think as if laid out right those trolleys could be say stored under the stairs, there may be a wheel but too many bus designers block this up, a small luggage area like on the older vehicles could solve the problem completely and help those needing accessibility to and from seats far better.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Sometimes you get on and its clear and by the time you need off there are 2 buggies a grannie and her dreaded shopping basket and some idiot who thinks its a helicopter your driving and not a wheelchair. Some people are very helpful and move as much as poss and others just look even after you've had 3 or 4 cuts at getting past. It can be very annoying especially when you know most chairs will just crush and smash their way off no probs if needed. I have said to a guy "if you dont move you'll yelp if I clip you" DOH! On the other hand people can surprise you how quick they jump to help you. I've been lifted of the floor to ceiling pole twice when 1st learning ??

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