Wheelchair woman rejects transport firm’s apology after bus row

Kirsty Shepherd.
Kirsty Shepherd.
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A wheelchair user who was refused access onto a public bus has rejected an apology from the transport company, vowing never to use their services again.

Kirsty Shepherd was not allowed onto the 444A Arriva bus from Rothwell to Wakefield by the driver, who told her there was already a pushchair on board.

The controversial move came just days after the Supreme Court ruled that bus drivers needed to be more accommodating towards disabled passengers.

Arriva has since apologised to 34-year-old Ms Shepherd after initially saying they were taking the matter seriously.

But Ms Shepherd, of Lee Moor Road, Stanley, said: “They may as well have not bothered, it’s an empty apology.

“They’ve not reassured me enough to say that it won’t happen again.

“The MD told me the driver will be re-trained on a day course, so I think they are sweeping it under the carpet.

“It’s like they’ve been embarrassed into making the apology.

“If they were serious they would have been more strict with the driver.

“I will never get on their buses again, so I’m stuck in the house unless my friends come and get me out.”

Arriva issued the apology admitting the situation was ‘unacceptable’ but said it was a ‘genuine misinterpretation of company policy’ by the driver.

Jon Croxford, area managing director said: “I called Ms Shepherd directly to apologise and explain we have put measures in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

“We have introduced new signage on our buses and are issuing a nationwide driver briefing.”

He added that he had also offered to meet with Ms Shepherd to understand how they could further improve.