A bus firm has launched an investigation after a future Paralympic hopeful was allegedly told she couldn’t board a bus because of a broken ramp.
Danielle Bailey, 14, had tried to get on First’s X84 service on Woodhouse Lane, Leeds city centre, when the driver said she couldn’t travel as the disabled ramp wasn’t working.
Danielle, a talented swimmer, uses a wheelchair after losing her hands and legs to meningitis as a young child.
The teenager, a pupil at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley, is being supported by Sport England as a potential future Paralympic swimmer and was an Olympic torch bearer.
Her mum Lindsay told the YEP: “If the ramp wasn’t working, then I don’t think that bus should have been on the road.
“What if the ramp was broken and a wheelchair user tried to board the last bus home after a night out or a trip to the cinema? What would happen then?
“Danielle felt let down and annoyed. We don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”
After being denied access to the bus, Danielle went to the main bus station, where she waited for the next service.
Lindsay’s fury was compounded when she tried to telephone the bus station to ask a member of staff to wait with Danielle, but reached a call centre who refused to put her directly through to the station.
Danielle’s MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) has demanded that First carry out an investigation into Danielle’s ordeal, which it has now promised to do.
Dave Alexander, regional managing director for First, said: “I would like to offer a full apology to Danielle and her parents for the poor experience she suffered when trying to travel on one of our buses.
“I have launched a full investigation into this matter and my staff have spoken to Mrs Bailey both to offer our apologies and to work with the family to find out exactly what happened.”