Richmond – Waterloo – Brixton – Return
Another trip to Brixton and unbelievably the ramp wrangler at Richmond forgot me again, leading to a mad panic and rush to get the ramp when the guard realised what was going on.
The thing that made this journey interesting however was the two bus trips on the way back. It’s best illustrated by simply including the e-mail I sent to TfL.
After my journey today I had intended to write to you with an example of good practise. Sadly, from the same trip, I also now have to report an example of poor practise also.
As a wheelchair user I often reply on the support of drivers to enable me to travel. This was the case today when I attempted to catch the 59 service Northbound at Villa Road around 1:45pm, bus reg LJ55 BPZ.
The wheelchair space was already occupied by a buggy. The driver left her cab and spoke with the parent, who moved to make space for me. Rather than ask the buggy to leave the bus, the driver allowed it to remain on board until the next stop, it’s destination.
In my opinion this driver showed exemplary judgement and people management skills. Her customer service supporting both me and the parent should be fed back to her manager.
Sadly, my next experience on the 419 service eastbound from Richmond station at around 3pm, bus reg LG02 FFH, id HH482, was exactly the opposite. As the driver pulled up he waved two fingers in the air, I now assume to mean he had two buggies on board. He took on the passengers and began to move away. I believe one of his passengers objected to his departing and persuaded him to stop, and at the same time my assistant ran to the front door. He opened it and told her that he had two buggies already, the use of the wheelchair space was first come, first served, and that he couldn’t ask them to move. All of which is incorrect.
My assistant tried to explain the rules in the Big Red Book, drivers manual but he remained adamant. He eventually agreed to let my assistant ask the parents to fold their buggies, which they did willingly and I was able to board.
I’m sure you are aware of the procedures for asking parents to fold their buggies, issuing transfer tickets if necessary, and communicating with both the wheelchair user and the following bus if the parent is uncooperative, all specified in The Big Red Book. This driver is clearly unaware of any of this. Please ensure that he goes through some remedial training to prevent a recurrence of this incident.