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Thread: Public Transport

  1. #1
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    Public Transport

    Hi, my name is Antony. I am starting a project at University and I hope that some of you can give me some help for research.
    The project asks to find ways that public transport can be improved or re-designed to improve the experience of people with disabilities.
    Would anyone who uses public transport or can't use public transport due a disability be able to give me some examples of your experiences, what is good about public transport? What is bad? What would make the experience easier for you?

    All input will be appreciated,
    Thanks
    Antony

  2. #2
    Senior Member AmyS's Avatar
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    Seats for the disabled on buses are normally occupied by the youth. Possible reason, more leg room for them - though totally unfair for those using a walking aid or elderly.

    Bus drivers don't care where people sit and some like me, would be afraid to speak up and ask the teenager to please move. I would love to see a sign on the back of the seat "if you are sitting reading this YOU ARE disabled or elderly" or something along those lines.

    Next month I'm travelling by train to London, I have booked a seat in first class, this gives me more leg room than in standard class.

    That's all I can think of at the moment.

  3. #3
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    Baby buggies using the wheelchair places when there is a notice that plainly states by law buggies have to be folded if it is needed for a wheelchair user. Drivers don't enforce this and the wheelchair user is left to wait for the next bus which could be anything up to an hour depending on the route.
    Agree with Amy's post too.

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    Have to agree with both Amy and Beau.

    I only use the bus if I am having an extremely good day and able to use my walking stick. I would never attempt to use the bus whilst in my wheelchair again.

    People sit in the disabled seats when they clearly have no need. Drivers oblivious to the fact that we need those seats and also many drivers not lowering the step plate when it is obviously needed lower. Another favourite is driving off before I am even seated, adding insult to injury when I am already struggling to get further down the bus because I cannot get a disabled seat.

    I don't think it is my right to have one of these seats, but if I cannot get one, at least let me sit down before driving off. I also offer my disabled seat, (when I can get one) to someone who I think may need it more.

    Personally, I don't think redesigning would make a difference. Educating non-disabled people might though.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  5. #5
    Senior Member AmyS's Avatar
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    I had forgotten about the lowering and driving off until you mentioned it. To other able bodied this is fine, for us though we are more precarious on our feet.

    A few months ago, I have to presume the driver was having a bad day. He didn't pull in to the pavement (bus stop) - I had to walk into the road to step up to the bus - he didn't lower it (I struggled to make the foot high step). As I made my way to a seat he pulled off and immediately braked. Both my walking stick and I went flying, I grabbed a rail, my stick was swinging in the air - not sure how I missed hitting someone with it. All I thought was at least we've stopped, then before I could sit down he started off again.

    This deters me from using public transport.

    Quote Originally Posted by babyblu64 View Post
    Have to agree with both Amy and Beau.

    I only use the bus if I am having an extremely good day and able to use my walking stick. I would never attempt to use the bus whilst in my wheelchair again.

    People sit in the disabled seats when they clearly have no need. Drivers oblivious to the fact that we need those seats and also many drivers not lowering the step plate when it is obviously needed lower. Another favourite is driving off before I am even seated, adding insult to injury when I am already struggling to get further down the bus because I cannot get a disabled seat.

    I don't think it is my right to have one of these seats, but if I cannot get one, at least let me sit down before driving off. I also offer my disabled seat, (when I can get one) to someone who I think may need it more.

    Personally, I don't think redesigning would make a difference. Educating non-disabled people might though.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sea queen's Avatar
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    I agree with all the above.
    Wheelchair spaces need to be bigger and without a pole in the middle.
    Passenger seats need to be place further back as people don't always want to move their legs or bags off the floor to allow the wheelchair user to turn when they want to get off.
    Bus drivers need to wait until the W/ch user is in position with brakes on before moving off.
    The problem is for the drivers they are on a tight time schedule and under a lot of pressure to keep to that time.

    Trains I have found to be better as the guards will assist on the train via a ramp and accompany the W/ch user to their allocated space. They are then assisted off the train with the guard taking control of the whole process.
    Sea Queen

  7. #7
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    TRAINS: while the assisted passage scheme works well, most of the time, trains them selves vary from company to company.
    Most designers of wheelchair spaces suffer from the delusion that all wheelchairs are the same size. They are not!
    Where i live, in telford, to get anywhere i have to use Arriva or London midland to get to/change at Bham or wolverhampton.
    Arrive is mostly old stock, but even so, i can manage to get on/in. Some times have to remove anti-tip wheel to fit.
    London midland ACE as they have double doors and more room
    Virgin mostly excellent although some older carriages mean the table (which can't be altered) is too low to let a joystick under. Result? I have to remove said joystick, meaning we/I have to manhandle the now static chair into a space that JUST fits. And i can't sit in it - (no room for knees)
    The worst by far is cross country! wheelchair space? don't make me laugh! IF it has no joystick, anti tip wheel or feet, perhaps.
    I have had to sit sidewards all the way from Bham to Manchester, blocking the corrider - no trolley service that day! and opposite a luggage rack so every one who wanted their cases had to trip over me.
    In going to Blackpool i have encountered Northern Rail and were pretty OK.
    To Bath South western and they were not bad.
    Staff are pretty well trained and most stations have a ramp BUT basic design needs a kick up the bum, taking into account how many different sizes and shapes of wheelchairs there are!

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    Damn the forum just ate my lengthy post. Basically i was saying trains vary from line to line.
    I have found Arriva, london midland, Virgin (mostly), south west, northern rail, to be pretty good.
    The WORST was Cross Country which from Bham goes to Manchester and down to Bristol.....they are under the illusion that all wheelchairs are the same size.
    I had to remove the joystick, anti tip wheel and feet, which then renders the chair utterly static and some burly bloke had to manhandle it into space. so then you sit somewhere else and hope to god, that said bloke is going to reverse all that at other end..
    Last edited by reddivine; 27-10-14 at 19:45. Reason: forum double posted me

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    Member kafouser's Avatar
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    One thing I have noticed on my rare (pub and back and when away by train) bus trips is that the bus drivers for the big companies all seem to HATE pass users and go out of their way to be obnoxious. It rarely happens with the smaller outfits. All in all the bus is not a pleasant experience, even for free, and if I was paying, I wouldn't be there. I am all too conscious though, that for some people there isn't a choice and I feel for them. The really daft thing is that most of the time outside rush hours, the only people using them are pass holders! If nobody uses the services they'll stop and the drivers won't have jobs. Be nice to us; we're keeping you in work!

  10. #10
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    I agree the drivers of the small companies really go out of their way to help but the national ones leave a lot to be desired.

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