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Brighton disabled bus passenger claims drivers ‘get angry’ with wheelchair users
A disabled woman claims she is being forced to move house because city bus drivers are making it too difficult for her to get around.
Mum Nicky Petett, who currently lives in Whitehawk, Brighton, is planning to relocate to Eastbourne.
She claims Brighton and Hove bus drivers have refused to let her on services because of the inconvenience of her wheelchair.
The 26-year-old said: “It’s been going on for ages. I just can’t do this anymore.
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“The drivers often get angry when I ask them to lower the ramp. I feel they think disabled people are wasting their time.
“They’re supposed to be helpful to their customers. I’m moving to Eastbourne because I can’t face using the buses here any more.”
Miss Petett, who is confined to a wheelchair because of a spinal condition, relies on buses to get around the city.
She claims on a number of occasions drivers have outright prevented her from getting on.
She said: “The first time it was on the 24 bus leaving mymum’s.
He didn’t even give me a chance to get on. He just looked at me and drove off.
“Another time they let me on but he took off as soon as I paid and a passenger had to grab my wheelchair.”
On other occasions, she claims drivers have made it “difficult” and “awkward” for her to get on.
She added: “Another time a driver said he couldn’t put the ramp down for health and safety.
“He asked me to tell my six-year-old to lift me onto the bus.
“Last Wednesday I tried to get on a 21 bus and the driver refused to put the ramp down.
“When I complained to the bus company they just gave me two day-saver tickets – it’s beyond a joke.”
Martin Harris, managing director of Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company, said the incidents would be “fully reinvestigated”.
He added: “I was very sorry to hear of Ms Petett’s concerns with our service.
“We are fully committed to making our services as accessible as possible and have invested to achieve a completely accessible bus service ahead of the legal deadlines.”
He explained drivers undergo special training for accommodating people with disabilities.
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