Leeds mum's anger at bus ban on wheelchair

A mum has hit out at a bus firm after a driver refused to allow her disabled daughter on because he thought her wheelchair was a pram.

Dawn Emery and her two disabled children Bethany and Rebecca Fieldhouse were on their way to hospital when they were told they couldn't get on the bus.

Ms Emery, 31, from Holbeck, claimed the driver of the First Bus 64 service told her that three-year-old Bethany's wheelchair looked like a pushchair and had to be folded up.

Despite Ms Emery's protestations the driver would not let her on unless she folded the "buggy" down.

Bethany suffers from epilepsy and neurofibromatosis - leaving her relying on a wheelchair because she is unable to walk long distances. Rebecca, 11, also has the illness.

Ms Emery told the YEP: "Folding it down was not something I could do. It was wet, slippery and icy outside.

"It was just disgusting. There was enough room for me to get on."

The delay meant the family was late for the hospital appointment at Leeds General Infirmary.

Ms Emery said she often uses the service for the girls' regular hospital appointments and has never had a problem before.

"Bethany should have had priority," she said. "The next bus driver was fine and let me on straight away.

"Just because it doesn't look like a wheelchair doesn't mean it isn't one."

A First spokesman said the firm would draw up a letter for Ms Emery to use with the wheelchair.

He added: "We also apologise that this matter was not handled better in

the first instance.

"There is some confusion over some of the new style wheelchairs for very young children that are in the design of a pushchair."

"As our regular customers know, there is a finite amount space at the front of our buses shared by wheelchair users and mothers with pushchairs."

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