Disabled grandmother accuses coach firm of ‘discrimination’ after mobility scooter controversy

A disabled grandmother accused a bus company of “discrimination” by refusing to let her ride the bus with her mobility scooter.

Lesley McMaster was on her way to visit her grandchildren when Nu-Venture staff told her she couldn’t take the bus with a scooter.

The driver allegedly told him it was “too heavy” and that it was at his discretion to put him in the car while he was under the burden of shopping for his poor daughter and grandchildren.

He had to drive 1.5 miles on a scooter – the size of a double car – in torrential rain.

Normally, the grandmother from Dartford, Kent said her daughter would pick her up, but the family was sick so they had to take public transport.

Lesley, 54, travels through a range of complex medical needs using a small shopping scooter for which he has an ID card.

To get from her Dartford home to her grandchildren in Tovil, Lesley needs to take three buses – the A or B bus from Bluewater to Chatham, the number 101 from Chatham to Maidstone, and then the 23 bus from downtown Maidstone to Tovil. bus number.

But he said Nu-Venture’s service number 23 wouldn’t let him drive in the last place, despite ramps descending with the driver’s seat switch.

He said it wasn’t his first problem with the bus company. In another incident, a Nu-Venture ramp broke and although the driver would let him get on, another passenger had to help him get the scooter onto the bus.

“I often travel by bus, either with my cane or my scooter. On this occasion I had to shop for my daughter’s house so I took my scooter with me. All the buses I used in Dartford had no issues with my scooter, but the buses in Maidstone didn’t get me on.

“They said it was too harsh to be allowed to take the bus and it was at the discretion of the driver.

“This is discrimination, how else can I get to Tovil if public transport doesn’t allow it? The weather was terrible. I won’t do it again but I chose the trail along the river and it was very muddy and slippery. Next time I’ll take the roads instead, even if it’s further away.”

Lesley McMaster was allegedly told she could not board a Nu-Venture coach with her mobility scooter

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Lesley McMaster was allegedly told she could not ride a Nu-Venture coach with her mobility scooter.

(Lesley McMaster / SWNS)

Arriva praised the bus drivers who had to get out of the taxi and manually lower the ramp. But Lesley said he has other issues with Nu-Venture, despite their push-button system to lower the ramp from the driver’s seat.

He said: “Arriva bus drivers are great, they really need to get out of the taxi and physically down the ramp to help me. They never complain and are always happy to help. But Nu-Venture, who can lower their ramp with a button from the driver’s seat, refuses outright.

“There was a driver the other day who would let me take the bus from Nu-Venture, but the ramp was broken. Another passenger had to help me get the scooter onto the bus.

“I really don’t understand why Nu-Venture is making such a fuss about this, it’s the size of a double buggy, not a huge mobility scooter.”

Nu-Venture states that only wheelchair users are covered by the Equality Act, not scooter users.

A spokesperson for the company said: “We welcome wheelchair users on all our buses. Equality legislation requires that since 2017 all buses used on local bus services must be wheelchair accessible.

“The legal provision is for wheelchairs. Mobility scooters are much heavier and not covered by regulations. Drivers have no ‘discretion’ in this matter – they must always comply with the relevant laws.”

SWNS – additional reporting by Megan Carr

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