Winchcombe bus refuses to let mobility scooter man on board
BARMAN Dom Etchells has criticised a bus company after he was refused permission to board a bus in his mobility scooter.
The 20-year-old from Winchcombe is using the £200 scooter after he fractured his foot while dancing, leaving him unable to walk for 12 weeks.
He had no problem boarding the bus on Saturday, but the driver refused to pick him up from the stop outside Winchcombe Medical Centre in Greet Road on Monday.
Dom said he phoned the bus company, Castleways, to check he would be allowed on the 606 into Cheltenham before he purchased the scooter.
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However, the Winchcombe company denied giving him permission to ride, saying it allows wheelchairs for the disabled on its buses, but not motorised scooters.
Dom, a barman at the Royal Oak pub in Gretton, said: "I know a lot of elderly people use mobility scooters every day of their life and I would hope that they let them use the bus.
"It has left me struggling to get out. There is not really that much to do in Winchcombe and I can't work at the moment.
"I don't think I would have bought it if I realised I could not go on the bus, I would have got a normal wheelchair instead."
But Rowena McCubbin, director of Castleways said she spoke to Dom and would never have told him he could take a mobility scooter on board.
She said: "Scooters are unlike wheelchairs as they come in different sizes and have a tendency to tip over as there is no way of securing them.
"I would not have given him any other information or advice and he never mentioned a scooter, else I would have told him we are not able to take them. We have regular passengers who are disabled and in wheelchairs and we have the ramps in place and the facilities to take these passengers.
"When he was allowed onboard with the scooter on Saturday we had a part time driver working and it was an error. This was not the first time we have had to refuse a passenger with a mobility scooter."
Adam Jones, from Gloucestershire disabled group Reach, said it was not unusual for buses to be unable to take mobility scooters.