Whatever Happened to the Maclaren Stroller?

28/10/15

Richmond – Kingston – Return

Whilst trains remain my preferred way to travel, it always seems to be buses that provide the most interest and ‘entertainment’.

Today’s little piece of theatre was provided after I’d settled myself into the wheelchair space. At the next stop there was a woman with one of these modern Travel Systems. To call it a buggy would be akin to calling HMS Ark Royal a boat. Although not old, the woman was clearly the grandmother of the occupant of said vehicle and she made it clear to the driver and anyone else within earshot, as she struggled to get onto the bus through the front door, that this was the first time she had taken the little mite out into the big, bad world.

Often there is space in the wheelchair area for me and a buggy, but with this beast there really was no chance. Either this Monster Truck of a machine didn’t fold up, which is possible, or Grandma hadn’t learned how to fold it, which is also entirely possible, but she was left with no option but to stand, and try to move out of peoples way as they got on and off. To her credit she did try very hard, but circumstances were against her. By the time I got off she was looking decidedly more stressed than when I first saw her. I suspect it wasn’t the bonding opportunity she had anticipated.

The train trip each way was mundane, except for a sterling effort by the ramp wrangler at Kingston to get me on the train, which arrived on the platform at exactly the same moment as I did.

The final leg, by bus as usual, was made unpleasant to say the least by a very short ramp which makes for quite a gradient. The ramp was also ‘broken’ in such a way that there was a step of an inch or so at the top. This makes for the perfect storm of circumstances to pull an involuntary and rather scary ‘wheelie’ as I get on the bus. Whilst ‘wheelies’ might look cool, they are most definitely not good when you’re going up a slope. Fortunately I didn’t go over backwards, though many others have under the same circumstances.

I do wonder whether Grandma went out and bought a more compact buggy after her baptism of fire.

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About Alan

I'm an Economist, Geek, Campaigner & wheelchair user who's been using all forms of public transport for 20+ years.
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