Bus firm’s apology after driver rejects disabled passenger
AN elderly Lillington couple are furious after being left to stand in the cold by a bus driver who refused to let them get on his bus with a wheelchair.
Tibor Hajdila was taking his 64-year-old partner Eileen Gregory home from Warwick Hospital last Tuesday after she had been for an appointment in advance of a knee operation.
Ms Gregory, who has back problems and arthritis, has difficulty walking and spends most of her time in a wheelchair.
But after the X17 bus they had been waiting for arrived - ten minutes late - the couple were told they must wait for the next one.
Mr Hajdila, 71, said: “The driver was in a hurry and he was very abrupt. He said, ‘You can’t get on here because I have got two buggies on board already’.
“I pointed out that there is a sign on the window that says buggies have to be collapsed or moved to make way for wheelchairs, but the driver did not even bother to ask the two women if they could fold up their buggies.”
Mr Hajdila said the driver then suggested that he and Ms Gregory could fold up their wheelchair so that they could fit on the bus.
He said: “I told him that my partner is not in it for fun - she is there because she cannot walk.
“This is the second time it has happened and it was the same driver.
“We had to get the next bus, which was 20 minutes later. It was very cold and very windy that day. Eileen was absolutely freezing.”
Describing himself as “very annoyed”, Mr Hajdila and his partner immediately went to the bus station in Leamington to tell Stagecoach’s management about the previous driver’s attitude. He was advised to lodge a formal complaint, but he said: “All they will do is send a letter of apology. That means nothing. That driver should be disciplined.”
A Stagecoach spokesman said: “We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to Mr Hajdila and his partner. Stagecoach’s policy is that drivers should ask those with pushchairs and prams to fold them if the space is required by a wheelchair user.
“We will investigate this further and take appropriate action where necessary.”
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Weather for Warwick
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North east