“You’ve always been a pest” Stagecoach driver tells disabled man refused entry on bus

Dunfermeline Press

 

 Siew Peng Lee • Published 14 Mar 2013 15:30

A DISABLED Pars fan was left “humiliated” after being ordered off Stagecoach buses TWICE in an afternoon – because there were already two buggies on board. 

Peter LockhartWheelchair user Peter Lockhart claimed he was even called a “pest” by one of the drivers when he tried to reason with him. 

Peter (53), chair of the Pars Disabled Supporters Club, suffers from fibromyalgia, which causes muscle weakness, pain and tiredness. 

He had tried boarding two service 19 buses on 20th February but drivers wouldn’t let him on. 

Peter recalled,

“I was going from Cowdenbeath to Lochgelly High School at 1pm. 

“I went to get on and the driver said I couldn’t. 

“When I asked why he said, ‘I’ve got two buggies already’. 

“I asked if we couldn’t get the buggies onto one side or one of them folded up – the rules are that it’s one buggy and one wheelchair space. 

“I told him that in the conditions of carriage it’s illegal to leave me and that he’d have to take me on and the wheelchair space had to be vacated if a wheelchair wanted to get on. 

“But he told me, ‘I don’t care what you’re saying, you’re not getting on’, shut the door and drove off. 

“I waited another 12 minutes before another bus came.” 

At 3 pm Peter tried catching another service 19 from Lochgelly Co-op to Cowdenbeath but the driver refused him entry after two buggies got on. 

He continued,

“I told the driver, ‘You do realise you’re breaking the law if you leave me here’. 

“But he said, ‘I don’t have to let you on and anyway you’re just a pest, you’ve always been a pest’ – it’s happened before with that driver, he didn’t let me on once before. 

“Luckily there was another bus right behind it.” 

Peter claimed on both buses the mums with the buggies had gone up to the drivers when he was ordered off. 

He said

“I’ve found mums with buggies to be very accommodating, they’ll try and help me get on. 

“If there was no way I could get on because there were too many buggies or the bus was full, fair enough, I’d never want a mum and baby to get off to let me on. 

“But I do expect drivers to try to be accommodating. Those two drivers didn’t even try. 

“It’s not the first time this has happened. Some buses don’t even stop and just drive right past me.” 

Peter, who is also councillor for Cowdenbeath, has complained to Stagecoach and fears others could be facing the same “discrimination”. 

He said

“If they’re doing that to me, what are they doing to other wheelchair users? 

“I can speak up for myself but a lot of people might not know their rights or can’t speak up for themselves. 

“We don’t know how they’re being treated. 

“I don’t want anyone to lose their job but there needs to be greater awareness of disability issues. Drivers need to be better trained.” 

Sarah Boyd, operations director for Stagecoach East Scotland said

“The comments raised are concerning as we take issues such as this very seriously. 

“Our staff are trained to make reasonable requests to ensure the wheelchair space available to those who require it and it is the legal requirement of a passenger to make the dedicated wheelchair space available, if possible, should it be required. 

“We have launched a full investigation into the circumstances and have been discussing with Councillor Lockhart directly.”

Dunfermeline Press

Peter Lockhart is a keen supporter of Black Triangle and has been active since our inception in 2010.

CACC celebrate their victory against cuts and charges for homecare in Fife in February
CACC celebrate their victory against cuts and charges for homecare in Fife in February

 

Peter was also a member of The Fife Campaign against Cuts and Charges (CACC) who, after five long years of campaigning and a change of administration defeated home care charges which are to be scrapped in Fife from April this year. A stunning victory.

We are very proud to be associated with him and all our friends at CACC who continue to fight for our rights wherever and whenever they are attacked. They are an inspiration to us all in our struggle.  

Comments
  • Nick Ricketts March 17, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    My friend… I will speak-out for you as this pisses me off! They cram mothers on with huge buggies but driver cannot be bothered to “waste time” with lowering a ramp for a disabled person. I have complained many times to Stagecoach. They are one-sided and always shout you down to THEIR ways and company policy. Someone needs to stand up to Stagecoach!

  • Boadacia! March 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I suppose we have the slime in government and their media puppet controllers to thank for this educating with their evil propaganda to the public, to how all disabled people are a nuisance, and scrounging from the state.

    Murdoch & those sucking his hemorrhoids will have much to answer for, and let’s all hope, – very soon!

  • jeffery davies March 17, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    yep its come down to this the goverments the press showing we are the weakest link goodbye jeff3

  • Film it next time !! March 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    that mother fucking bus driver should be sacked,

    Peter should have video recorded the incident on his mobile phone then posted it on youtube and sent a copy by email to the bus company and all press and disability campaign groups.

  • Snowdrop March 17, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I saw the same thing happen to a wheelchair user at the Halton Lea bus stop the other week! Exactly same situation but neither mother offered to put the pram down! Even though I’m disabled myself I would still have put the Pram down if child wasn’t asleep!

  • Thomas March 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Imagine if a bus driver said to a black person, a Jewish person or a Muslim that he thought they were a pest and coulden’t get on. He’d almost certainly be sacked, probebly have the police turn up,and possibly even become a target of vigilantes for being racist/anti Jewish/anti Muslim. But it seems it’s fine to target the disabled.

    • Michael March 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      What you say is very true but our inglorious treacherous politicians must deny this ever happens. This bus company should be advertised as to what they are like in every town , village and city up and down the country. I can’t get any benefits even though I can hardly walk or breath. I was a copper for 20 odd years and can honestly say hand on heart I tried my damndest to be fair to all cultures when trying to do my job. The number of times i got the race card pulled on me was unbelievable and what’s more my bosses wouldn’t back me. Those drivers need stoning as a sentence to try and get some basic decency back into them.

  • Peter Lockhart March 17, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Bus driver was bad enough but i’m stunned at the really negative reaction I encountered in the comments section after the story. Once other people began to challenge the hateful comments they started to backtrack and say it was because they don’t believe my version of events. Not much I can do about that, other than stagecoach making the CCTV footage available is my word.

  • Peter Lockhart March 17, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    When I say stunned, not often i’m shaken but on this occasion I am, no ownder disabled people don’t complain

  • Allen Vincent March 18, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Stagecoach have been in trouble before discriminating against a deaf woman http://www.slc.org.uk/userfiles/file/press%20releases/Press%20release%20-%20Profoundly%20deaf%20woman%20win%20redress%20against%20a%20bus%20company.pdf

    Only awarded £1,000 but the correct tariff is up to £5,000 “per incident” so need more disabled and all those with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 to make dramatically more N1 County Court Claims for breaches of the Equality Act 2010.

    I’m not a fan of the EHRC Equality and Human Rights Commission anymore as they’ve been breaching their own rules and laws since early 2010 on my deaf talkbytext deaf communication system that records verbatim their true face BUT this link is EXCELLENT and worth the effort to learn http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/uploaded_files/EqualityAct/servicescode.pdf

    Keep up the fight people. I am AllenVincent489 being unlawfully copulated by the system myself. My vids are extreme sometimes but extreme times for Mum and I. http://telly.com/AllenVincent489 and I’m unlawfully banned from using my twitter due to arbitrary, unlawful, unfair, corrupt and discriminatory bail conditions to shut me up https://twitter.com/AllenVincent489

  • Serenity March 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    This is what happens when a service is privatised it is no longer a public service but profit driven with non profitable services and routes withdrawn, I think only London Transport is now government owned and much cheaper than stagecoach on a mile per mile basis. Also it’s these private companies who want pensioners travel concessions removed, in London people on benefits get concessions and it’s free travel until age 18.

  • Humanity2012 March 18, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    This is Bloody Disgusting and Straight Out of National Socialist Regime Time

    Indeed Con Dem Britain and the National Socialist Regime have a Lot in Common
    with Regards to the Neglect of the Poor and Vulnerable

  • trish Thomas June 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    This happens to me daily and I normally have my young children with me and nothing ever happens when you complain, people need to realise we don’t choose to be in a wheelchair and if we could we would fold up our chairs.

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