I have been a wheelchair user on the buses in Hastings for a few months now. I have experienced some lovely helpful drivers but also a lot of drivers who are rude.
One driver did not put down the ramp for me to be pushed on easily. When it was time for us to get off, he was quite abrupt and rude to my boyfriend as when he politely asked the driver if he could put down the ramp, we should have apparently “known” that the blue disabled button should have been pressed, as that indicates to the driver that he needs to put down the ramp.
We did not know this, and the bell had already been pressed by another passenger. We have also had drivers refuse to put ramps down and all this has left me feeling anxious at the thought of using the buses on my own.
Wheelchair users do not choose to be in that position and do have feelings, as do their carers – we are human too – and I feel that as part of drivers’ training they should go out for a journey on a bus in a wheelchair to experience what us wheelchair users have to put up with when we go out.
Having said this, I would like to thank all those drivers and people who have helped me out as I learn to adapt to this new way of life.
Battle Road, St Leonards