Nottingham City Transport has long believed that wheelchair users should have priority over other customers when travelling on the bus and has raised the issue of conflicting legislation covering the ‘bay’ several times with the Department for Transport through our industry representative, CPT.
Currently, whilst the Vehicle Service Accessibility Regulations require every new bus built since 2000 to have a space for a wheelchair user on board, The Public Service Vehicles (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers) Regulations state that a driver cannot insist on a customer moving from the bay, should a wheelchair user wish to board.
Our current policy, like most other bus operators in the country, has been adopted from these two separate pieces of legislation.
The judgement in Doug Paulley’s case appears to contradict this existing legislation and we are awaiting the full judgement details to understand how that decision has been reached, along with further guidance from the Department for Transport.
Any change to the legislation and our policy will then be announced.
To improve access, we have been providing more space on our buses for wheelchair users and pushchairs. This has included changing the internal layout on our new buses. Since 2009, all new double decks have had a much longer bay which has enabled a wheelchair and pushchairs to travel on the same bus and we’re now modifying older double deck buses to have the same layout. In addition, we’ve also been purchasing single deck and midi-buses with two bays, which also enables the carriage of a wheelchair and pushchair on the same bus.
Nottingham City Transport is committed to providing an accessible fleet for the City and runs one of the most accessible fleets in the country.