A post about London Buses and the space for pushchairs

30Jul14

Buses.

Buses in London easily have enough space for 3 big pushchairs/prams. BUT, as if that level of actual usefulness was too much – to counter it they’ve installed a big metal bar from floor to ceiling which doesn’t travel straight down, but bends. So it’s very difficult to even fit 2 buggies in.

That clearly wasn’t enough either so there are signs everywhere saying “MOVE OR FOLD YOUR BUGGY IF A WHEELCHAIR USER WANTS TO USE THE SPACE. THIS SPACE IS NOT REALLY FOR YOU BUT YOU MAY BEGRUDGINGLY STAND THERE, IF YOU REALLY MUST”

Wheelchair users cannot move into the space because of the big bar if there are buggies present at all.

So therefore you end up in the ridiculous situation that you trepidatiously step on to the bus, knowing at any second you may have to flee with your particularly unimportant young child, wherever you are, whatever the conditions. And if you don’t have to you’ll probably have to move right off the bus just to let a wheelchair on and endure all manner of tuts and rolled eyes because the bus is probably already late.

I even heard someone say “Well buggies didn’t used to be so big, did they?” when I mentioned the bar. Well no they didn’t, but they have been for a bloody long time and since then they’ve made new buses that don’t accommodate them, which seems to be an order of magnitude more relevant.

Anyway, the bar is ostensibly there to secure wheelchair users in while the drivers are hooning round corners and regularly checking their brakes. In Finland, they use a little strap instead. Which doesn’t make a whole cross section of society feel unwelcome. Not to mention a separate network of buses and transport services for anybody with mobility difficulties.

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