Disabled man wins Supreme Court case on buggy vs wheelchair space on bus
Jan 19, 2017 04:21 PM EST
After a dispute with a woman with a buggy over wheelchair space on a bus, a disabled man has won a Supreme Court case, putting the statement bus drivers will have to do more to accommodate wheelchair users.
Doug Paulley, from Wetherby, West Yorkshire, UK brought his case after the wheelchair user was refused entry to FirstGroup bus - when a mother with a pushchair refused to move, in 2012. The ruling, according to First Bus meant drivers would not have to remove passengers from its vehicle, and Paulley described the ruling would make "a major difference".
The company should consider further steps to persuade non-wheelchair users to move, said the court, without making it a legal duty to move them.
The court also ruled that FirstGroup's policy of requiring requiring a driver to simply request a non-wheelchair user to vacate the space without taking any further steps was unjustified, as reported by BBC.
The judgement, however fell short of making it a legal requirement for bus companies to compel non-wheelchair passengers to move from the space. Referring it as "a key issue" for them, bus drivers according to the company would not have to remove customers from the said public transportation. The firm welcoming the ruling and pleased with the verdict from the Supreme Court which found it did not discriminate against Mr. Paulley.
It was an important milestone, said Disability charity Scope when commenting about the ruling. Minister for Disable People, Work and Health Penny Mordaunt said said she would be talking to the Department for Transport about "clarity, good practice and the powers of transport providers to ensure this ruling becomes a reality".
"It's been amazing the amount of support I've had - disabled people, organisations, lawyers, family, allies. This is hopefully going to make a major difference to disabled people's travel," said Mr. Paulley.
He said the issue would always involve "a matter of judgement" from drivers, when asked whether the verdict went far enough. According to him, there will always "be some judgement and there will always be some exceptional circumstances where somebody can't be expected to move out of the space.