Tram chiefs sorry after mum with buggy thrown off

Louise Brook was asked to get off the tram with her two sons in their pushchair. Picture: Toby Williams
Louise Brook was asked to get off the tram with her two sons in their pushchair. Picture: Toby Williams
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TRANSPORT bosses have apologised after a mother with a twin-seated pushchair was ordered off a tram because there were too many prams in the carriage.

Louise Brook, 45, was travelling with her two sons when a ticket inspector told her to get off at the next stop because the tram was already carrying too many buggies.

He said the tram operated a two-pram limit and a third would breach transport rules.

But the mother-of-two refused to leave and the tram worker backed down after fellow passengers intervened.

Tram bosses deny there is a pushchair limit and vowed to investigate her complaint.

Mrs Brook, who lives in the East End and runs a catering company, said the experience yesterday made her feel parents were “unwelcome” on the trams.

“I’d taken my two boys to something at the Book Festival, and we had walked there so I had taken a double buggy. I thought we would go home from Shandwick Place on the tram and get off at St Andrew Square.

“We got on the tram, and the ticket guy came over and told me that if you’ve got a buggy you can’t be blocking the entrance and he was going to have to ask me to get off at the next stop,” said Mrs Brook.

“I told him: ‘You have got to be joking’.

“He said the rules of the tram are that you’re only allowed to have two buggies on a tram parked in the buggy area, and there were already two on board.

“I replied that the next tram was in 13 minutes’ time, and I was only going one more stop to St Andrew Square.

“I just couldn’t believe he was asking a mum with two children to get off the tram.”

Each tram can hold up to 332 passengers and is designed to ensure prams and wheelchairs enter and exit with ease.

Mrs Brook, who denies her two-seater buggy was obstructing the electronic doors, said she would have been forced to leave the carriage if she, and other passengers, had failed to challenge the inspector’s claim.

She said: “It makes you feel like if you are a parent, you aren’t welcome. If you’re trying to use the trams in central Edinburgh with a buggy, there isn’t any point.

“I’m sure that if I hadn’t stood up for myself, and other people hadn’t as well, I would have had to leave.”

She added: “Considering everyone lived with the roadworks for four or five years, and all of the money that it cost, you would imagine that if you had children that needed to go in a buggy, you could actually use it.”

A spokesman for Transport for Edinburgh said: “We don’t have a pushchair limit on our trams because we have lots of floor space.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and we’ll look into the complaint further.”

A pushchair ban on Lothian Buses was lifted in 2012 following a four-year campaign by angry parents.

paris.gourtsoyannis@jpress.co.uk