New mother is forced off bus in buggy stand-off

A NEW mum brought a bus to a standstill on George Street for 10 minutes when she refused to get off after the driver told her that she was not allowed on with her pram.

The driver eventually announced to passengers that the service would have to terminate because the mum was refused to leave.

Kelsey Bryce, 20, of Kingsknowe Grove, was on her first outing with her baby when she attempted to board the number 22 bus on George Street with her six-day-old son, Ryley and aunt, Linzi Siddle, yesterday afternoon.

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However, the driver immediately told her she could not travel with her foldable pram despite the trio having travelled into the city centre on the same bus earlier in the day.

Miss Bryce stood her ground and refused to budge until eventually the driver announced the cancellation of the service over the Tannoy.

She was forced to relent, saying she did not want to disrupt the journeys of other passengers, and got a taxi home.

The Scottish Water employee said: “It’s ridiculous. My sister Lara used this exact pram on the number 22 for the past 14 months without any problems.

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“The driver was very rude, he just took one look and told us that we weren’t allowed on. He has ruined what should have been a special day for me.

“I’m sure that we could have resolved the issue if he had been a bit more polite. The buggy is collapsible and neither of the wheelchair bays were being used. He never even asked me though, straight away he just said ‘no’.”

Mums have been pitted against Lothian Buses for several years now as the bus company’s rules state that only foldable prams and pushchairs can be brought on to buses in case the space is required by a wheelchair user.

The bus company’s current policy is deisgned to comply with disability legislation which insists that it makes space available on all vehicles for wheelchair users.

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Following a campaign by The Babies on Buses action group the firm introduced dedicated buggy spaces on four routes and is extending them to three others, but on the 22 the ban on non-folding prams and buggies remains.

Miss Bryce’s aunt, Lynsey added: “There seems to be no consistency, how can one driver look at the pram and deem it OK but another just a couple of hours later decides it’s not OK? The guy was just being a complete jobsworth. He cancelled the service over the Tannoy in the hope of getting all the passengers against us but they weren’t; they were telling us that we were dead right.”

Ian Craig, managing director of Lothian Buses, said: “Lothian Buses has not had an opportunity to speak with the driver in question and review the CCTV footage and audio on the bus so cannot comment on this isolated case.

“This is being investigated but our company policy and rules of carriage state that only foldable buggies are permitted on our buses. We are reviewing our current accessibility policy, the findings of which will be announced shortly.”