Bus law too lax

I don’t know when Elaine 
Pomeransky (Letters, 10 December) was last on a bus, as her ideal layout to cope with wheelchair users and mothers with baby buggies is standard on the 
majority of the Lothian Buses fleet.

I am sure that, were she to use the services 19, 25 and 34 which travel through Restalrig (where she lives), she would find this to be the case.

I’m also pretty certain that 
Edinburgh Coach Lines (who 
operate service 13) have such a layout on their modern fleet.

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However, the judgment this week by an appeal court in 
England that First Bus did not have to give priority to 
wheelchairs over baby buggies and that the disabled should lobby parliament to strengthen the law in this respect will probably not refer to Scotland, as we have our own legal system – and transportation is a devolved power.

At present, according to Transport Scotland’s website under the heading “Do other passengers have to make way for wheelchair users?”, it states: “Where other passengers are occupying the wheelchair space you (the driver) should ask them to move to allow a wheelchair user to board.

“You (the driver) do not have to let the wheelchair user on if the carrying capacity – seated or standing – would then be exceeded.

“Other passengers on the bus aren’t obliged to move and you (the driver) are not expected to make them.”

The last sentence could be interpreted to apply to users of baby buggies. I know the difficulties facing wheelchair users, as I have a friend in that unfortunate position. Most drivers are very helpful, but there have been occasions in the past where we have experienced difficulties.

I suggest that organisations (both public and voluntary) concerned with the disabled, along with carers and wheelchair users themselves, lobby the Scottish Government to tighten up the law in this respect.

J Lindsay Walls

Buckstone Wood


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