Dear Transport for London,
It would seem that this issue is never ending. Yesterday I caught the 391 bus and at 18.39 it stopped at Hammersmith Tube station, after I’d pressed the blue button. Rather than stop the bus with the middle doors adjacent to the pavement, thé driver lowered the ramp down to ‘ street level ‘. As a consequence the ramp slope was about 25-30 degrees, which in a wheelchair is very dangerous, and I’d say illegal. A 1 in 10 slope is the norm, and I think the regulations are very clear. The height of the ‘ drop’ was about 12 inches, and therefore actually required a 2.4metre long ramp to be legal. A bus ramp is about a metre long only, I’d estimate. The slope i faced was crazily steep. As I had a helper, we managed it, but by myself I would not have even attempted it. After i was out, i wheeled along the pavement to the front of thé bus and spoke to the female driver. I politely said that it would have been much safer if she’d stopped the bus adjacent to the pavement to make the ramp slope less steep. She said ‘ I can’t do that here’.
I said that I often caught that bus and that other drivers had always stopped next to the pavement.
Her reply was a very terse ‘ fine, so report me ‘.
Surprised, I said ‘ I don’t want to report you, I’m just asking you so you know next time ‘
She said ‘ no, go on, report me ‘.
Even more surprised by this ‘ attitude ‘ I said ‘ ok, I will ‘.
As you can see from the pictures, it was the 391 bus to Fulham, it was 18.41 when I took the picture, and her bus driver number was 254. She had blonde hair, of medium build, and was probably around 40.
She was completely unnecessarily inconsiderate and unprofessional, and unhelpful. It’s mystifying to me that a professional driver, who ultimately is working in the ‘ service industry ‘ and has ‘ customers ‘ can go to work with the attitude that she has, which surely makes her job far less rewarding than it actually could be.
I trust that ‘further training ‘ will be provided to her, and that I shall receive yet another apology….
Russ Dawkins ( Paralysed – 5 years ago after a cycling accident )