Should pushchairs use the wheelchair ramp? Mum getting off bus in Letchworth sees buggy flip, with one-year-old’s head an inch from the ground
- Credit: Archant
A mum getting off a bus in Letchworth on Tuesday had her toddler’s buggy flip and get wedged upside-down between the bus and the kerb, with her child’s face an inch or so from the ground.
The woman – who wished to remain anonymous – told the Comet that the bus hadn’t parked close enough to the pavement at the stop opposite Barclays in Station Place.
She said that the buggy got trapped at about 12.50pm, and that it took three people to release it.
Thankfully her one-year-old girl was strapped in and completely unhurt, but she can’t understand why parents using buggies aren’t offered use of the ramp reserved for wheelchair users.
She said: “The bus didn’t park close enough to the pavement to get the buggy out safely.
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“As I was trying to get out, the buggy got stuck in the gap between the bus and pavement and it flipped with my daughter inside. Thankfully she was strapped in.
“Because of how the buggy went over, I went flying into a crowd of people who were ready to get on the bus.
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“It took three of us to get my daughter’s buggy unwedged from the gap to get her safely out. The buggy was stuck face-down, with her face an inch away from the floor.
“The bus drivers have the ramp there, but they’ll only take it out for wheelchair users. That’s good, but why can’t they do more to help children get on and off buses as well?”
The mother said the driver of the Arriva 97 Stotfold-to-Hitchin route bus had just asked if everything was OK before continuing to serve other passengers.
And she said that she felt shaken enough that she didn’t want to use buses again.
“I’m still in shock,” she said.
“My daughter should be safe getting on and off a bus. I’ll be getting taxis now.
“When she was three weeks old a bus driver went around a corner so fast that she went flying out of her carrycot. It took me long enough to get on a bus again after that.”
Tuesday’s incident also saw the mum’s mobile phone, which was in the buggy, smash on the pavement.
A spokesman for Arriva said: “Usually our drivers bring the bus down to street level and park as close to the kerb as possible.
“I would encourage customers to call in about incidents like this so we can log them and look at the issues properly for the future.
“The key thing is we just want to have an official look to make sure we haven’t missed anything. Obviously we don’t like to have any of our customers having any kind of injury.
“If the driver hasn’t recorded this as he should have done, we’ll need to have a chat with him.”
You can log complaints with Arriva at arrivabus.co.uk/contact-us/send-us-a-message.