People, 'Its Time To Stand Up For Ourselves'

Last Saturday my wife, daughter and myself decided to leave the car at home and make use of my disabled bus pass. We thought an afternoon at Upton Upon Severn for a pub lunch sounded good so off we set with my trusty oxygen pack on my back.

Things did'nt quite go as smoothly as I had hoped when on boarding the bus the driver refused to exept that my pass covers free travel for me and a companion. When I questioned this he told me in no uncertain terms that he had worked as a driver for 27 years and new he was right.

At this point I turned round to see my wife and daughter getting off the bus because we did not have enough cash to pay for two return fares. Luckily I had some loose change in my pocket and saved the day.

The problem was still there though, I new that the driver was wrong as I had read all the information that came with the pass and had already used it on many occasions with a companion without any problems.

So not being a person to shy away from a confrontation I asked the driver for his name or identification number and how to go about making a complaint to the bus company. I made it quite clear that I new he was incorrect and misinformed with his information. To my amaizement he refused any information to me, so we sat down and carried on to upton having held the bus up for some time. On reaching Upton I once again asked the driver for his identification as I wanted to exercise my right to complain and be re-embursed with my companions free travel fee. He told me my complaint was with the council but I insisted that this was not the case as it was him I wanted to complain about to his employer First Midland Red. He still would not give me any information.

The bus by now must have been at least 20 minutes late so it was time to stop this from spoiling our day out. I told the driver I would make my complaint when I got home direct to his

employer through the customer care section on thier internet webb site.

Also halfway through our journey another disabled person on leaving the bus told us to complain to the papers because he had been spoken to badly by the driver. He told us in his oppinion the driver had a problem with the disabled. He said his disability was not obvious because he had a heart problem so the driver had wrongly judged him on his apperance.

Well the complaint has been put in so we now have to wait and see what happens but I can't help feeling that the bus drivers poor attitude to the disabled has come from our goverment turning peoples oppinions into thinking were all just a bunch of scroungers.

Tony. :( (Lets hope this is just an isolated incident and not a growing problem)

27 Replies

  • I have the most horrible feeling that you are spot on in your last paragraph :(

    Just recently I have noticed that if I park in a disabled spot, which I am entitled and need to do, outside a shop, there have been glares from several passersby. It's quite unsettling and has only very recently started happening. Very best of luck with your complaint :)

  • It seems that some people can be easily influenced and forget that one day our old friend disability may come to visit them.

  • I was talked out of taking his photo by my wife and daughter at the time because they don't like confrontation and could see this may escalate the situation. I would still be on the bus now if they had'nt been there but then I had read the paper work and knew he was wrong. They thought I might be incorrect, untill we got home and they also read the leaflet that came with the pass. Iv'e used the pass again today with my wife and there was no problem, this driver was a good guy like most are.


  • Don't worry stitch, I'm going to follow this through to a satisfactory conclusion. I have the family's backing now they have read the information leaflet that came with the pass, and know the driver was in the wrong when he refused our pass.

  • You are so right Tony - this government, ably assisted by the Daily Mail & other right-wing press, have made it acceptable to interrogate, abuse and generally intimidate disabled people, and your upsetting experience is a grotesque example. Have you considered a letter to your local paper?

    ff x

  • Back you all the way dall05. Looking at some of the folk about nowadays, it makes me wonder if some of the Nazis didn't sneak across the Channel way back in 1940. Brilliant idea to take a photograph.

    One way or the other, I dont think we necessarily live in a friendly society. I feel people are discontented with everything. Blame the governemnt, the weather etc.

  • Don't forget to let us know the out come.

  • Don't worry King I'll keep everyone posted, Lets hope First midland red get back to me soon eh'. I guess they need a chance to sort this problem themselves. I'm not after anything other than an apology from the driver himself, what are my chances?

  • Pity no one remembers the good drivers,,, only the bad ones....

  • You said that id2409 not me. Iv'e met plenty of professional drivers who are helpfull and cheerfull and they are remembered, but this guy was a joke to his profession and is letting all the good drivers down badly. If you had experienced what I did, believe me you would feel the same as I do.

    There is no defence the man said he had driven for 27 years and should be well trained in customer care by now and also know what he is doing instead of making it up to suit his own ignorant feelings.

    I hav'nt been put off using the buses because of one bad apple, Iv'e been out today and used my pass with a companion and it was free for both because this driver was well trained and educated to know the rules of his own bus.


  • Yes come on id2409 this is your spot so lets here it. Look forward to your blog in the near future.

  • I guess Iv'e got to give the company a chance to resolve the situation and hopefully deal with the driver through thier own disciplinary channels. If nothing happens then maybe its the papers next.

    What was slightly worrying was on the end of the complaints form it said if I had no reply by e mail within a month then I had to ring the company on a number which is not free.

    Its been a week now and there has been no reply other than the standard confirmation e mail that they received my complaint.

    This driver needs bringing down to earth because I'm sure there are many others who have been on the recieving end of his bullying but have have felt helpless to fight back.

    He's got away with it untill he met me and I'm like a dog with a bone when there is an injustice.


  • good for you - don't let the b******* grind you down

    ff x

  • Too True, when the b******* try and grind me down I fight back.

    Cheers fairyfootsteps.


  • hi caroll - just came online and your note popped straight up! I'll send you a message

    fairyfootsteps x

  • Hi Dall05

    I would send a copy of your correspondence to to the authority that issued your pass. I would also ask them for comments, and intentions. Very often these authorities also issue the licenses that permit these bus companies to operate on their routes.

    If you don't get satisfactory answers after that, then go to the press.

  • Thanks Stitch, I'm going to give the bus company a chance to deal with this first then we'll move to the next stage if not satisfied.


  • Hopefully the bus company will bring this to a satisfactory conclusion themselves but I'm not holding my breath. They need to be given a chance then the local authority comes next.

    Thanks for your advice johnwr


  • That is really bad Tony but unfortunately there are some nasty people out there. Hope you get an apology from this b........

    A friend of mine had a problem with her wheelchair on the bus. Because it was quite a big chair the best way to get on was to reverse on. The driver refused to let her do this so it took her ages to position it right. She said by that time everyone was staring at her and she felt so embarrassed. She said she wasn't going on a bus again.

    Bev x

  • Sounds like the same driver to me or maybe he was trained at the same place. Your friend must not stop useing the buses or he has won. Most drivers are good and helpfull from my experiance, also its a shame the people on the bus did'nt help her too.

    Its odd that the driver would not let her reverse on because I guess she would have to reverse off, whats the difference. Its a shame I was'nt there to sort him out as he sounds like just another bully and is useing his little position of power on the weak and vulnerable.

    The bus company should have a customer care service so maybe she should contact them like I have and find out whether its company policy not to allow a chair to be reversed on the bus.

    Tony. Lets name and shame these nasty people eh' Hypercat and also remind them they could be vulnerable one day too.

  • Oh goodness Tony,what a nasty way to start the day,for you all. I wonder why the bus company needs a month,before you can enquire,are they that short staffed? Probably hoping that you will have forgotten it,by then!!

    Its so sad when people have to throw there weight around,to look important,

    Good luck with it,& it may save some other person,an embarrassing situation one day,

    Love Wendells xxx

  • Hi Wendells, Yes this driver was full of his own importance and there was little sympathy for me and my family. Its pretty obvious when I have an oxygen pack on my back and nasel specks up my nose that I'm not a well person but that meant nothing to him

    They may be hopeing that I'll forget, but thats not going to happen. As you say this has to be stopped now to save others from this mans arrogance.

    I can take this on the chin but there are others such as hypercats friend who can be deeply effected by an incident like this..

    I hope everything is well with you and your family and your still recovering after the car crash incident.

    Tony xx

  • I honestly think that this 'pick on the disabled' is due to the fact that they are classed as claimers of benefits. These horrible people such as bus drivers, assume that you are claiming every benefit going whereas it is the opposite as we have to fight tooth and nail to get even the basic benefits we are entitled to.

    So glad you have complained, the driver should, by law, as a taxi driver does, show his badge on request or even have it on display, tell the company you are writing to the newspapers about the company and you want a refund, compensation and a public apology from this idiot of a driver who does not know his companies rules and regulations. I hope this driver gets COPD and has a serious illness that will bring the inhuman piece of rubbish down to earth.

  • Well done to complain, for too long we the disabled have been the subject of none beleiver predjudice to spite many new legislation. Infact many people don't see some illnesses ect as a disability, perhaps we should wear a badge(smiles). On a more serious note I feel many employers have too little disability awareness training including some of those who assess disability. Complaining helps to highlight anomalies but not all of us are able to manage the complexities necessary to complain, we must stick together and those who are able breing the wrong doings to light. Hopefully you will get a refund , appology and a reprimand of the driver concerned

  • How awful for you and your wife dall05. A similar thing happened to Pete and I because it is not really that clear on the buss pass itself. The driver of the Stagecoach bus tried to say that I was not entitled to travel with Pete free of charge, but Pete pointed out the driver's error and he was most apologetic and let me on without charge. This was on a trip to Brighton and we had no such problems on the return journey. I really hope you get a reply to your complaint and that you are re-imbursed fully. What a terrible way to treat anyone and the driver should be ashamed as should the Bus company. Good luck to you. xxxxx

  • St Albans City Hospital, Hemel and Watford want to charge parking fees for the disabled there has been a lot of disabled people writting e-mailing and getting the local M.P involved, at the moment they have dropped the charges because it is discrimating the disabled, i also have had people looking at me with evil eyes, they havent got my condition so they dont know how i am.


  • Some years ago it used to be a legal requirement that all Passenger Service Vehicle (PSV) drivers gave their name and badge number to any passenger that demanded them. They were also required to wear the badge whenever driving. I believe this is still in force. Bob

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