A MOTHER is furious after a bus driver refused to let her on board because her son was in a wheelchair.
Kathryn Dale was waiting for a Stagecoach bus outside the Freeport shopping centre with her three-year-old son Nathan who has severe learning difficulties and uses a buggy, which doubles up as a wheelchair.
But when Mrs Dale, who has multiple sclerosis and also uses crutches, attempted to board the Stagecoach bus to get home, she claims the driver told her there was no room for the pushchair in the disabled space as there was another woman with a buggy using that space.
The mother-of-one, whose son is due to join Red Marsh School this year, said: “I felt so humiliated, I was in tears as he drove away.
“The woman was in the disabled seat and the driver made no attempt to ask her to move and said they couldn’t fit more than one buggy on.”
The bus company claims the driver did ask the woman to move but she refused and because of that there was no way they could let her on board.
They say they have a strict policy of only allowing one buggy or wheelchair on board at once – and if somebody is sitting in the disabled space and refuses to move there is nothing they can do.
But Mrs Dale claims the driver made no attempt to ask the woman to move and told her she would have to fold her son’s buggy or she could not get on.
Mrs Dale, who has submitted a formal written complaint, added: “I am never going to get on a bus again.
“Not only was I humiliated, I felt like I was being discriminated against – I am on crutches and my son is disabled, how was I supposed to get him out and fold it down?
“I’ve never had a problem like this before.
“I had to pay more than £5 for a journey home which would normally cost less than half of that but I don’t want to risk this happening again.”
A spokesman for Stagecoach said: “This is not a case of discrimination.
“The disabled place is not for wheelchairs, but the driver can ask people who are sitting there to move in order to make room for one.
“The driver says he did ask the woman sitting in this space to move but she wouldn’t and there was nothing he could do.
“He asked Mrs Dale to fold the buggy down, as we have a policy of only allowing one wheelchair or buggy – the rest have to be folded down and put away.”