I was featured in an article in the Evesham Observer on the 6th of April, Disabled passenger wants action after bad experiences [Evesham Observer], in relation to the A2BForAll campaign about difficulties that disabled people face in using public transport. I was pleased at how the article highlighted some of the problems that I have experienced but I feel that there was too much focus on one particular incident on a local bus service run by Henshaw’s Executive Travel. In this case there was a problem with the ramp which prevented the bus from moving for about quarter of an hour after I boarded the bus.
In other areas I have often come across buses which lack ramps and wheelchair spaces. I have had far more problems with boarding and leaving trains, with pre-booked assistance not turning up on arrival at train stations such as Birmingham New Street, London Paddington and Manchester Picadilly. This makes boarding a train a gamble as to whether I will be able to get off again at the other end before the train leaves. I have particular problems at Evesham station because it is not manned after 12:30pm and so I must rely on train staff to be able to put the ramp in place – that is, if there are staff on the train to assist at all.
I am actually very pleased with the effort that Henshaw’s have made in making sure that the new routes which they run through Badsey use low-floor buses with ramps for wheelchairs. I am very happy with the service which I receive from Henshaws and their drivers are always polite, helpful and ensure that the experience is a good one. I feel that this incident was an unfortunate accident which will not happen again and I would certainly not want anyone to avoid travelling on this bus route because of one incident.