Disabled woman left in “excruciating pain” after bus drivers park too far from kerb

Metroline bus depot

Metroline bus depot - Credit: Archant

A disabled passenger has said she was left in “excruciating pain” after falling when her bus driver allegedly parked too far away from the kerb.

Retired school receptionist Brenda Wilson, 70, was about to get off the 84 bus at St Albans City Station using her Rollator walking aid when she realised the gap between the pavement and the vehicle was too wide.

After the driver had shuffled closer on her request, hesitant Brenda had to brave the jump onto the now narrowest part of the pavement - but she did not make it, and stumbled over onto the Rollator.

She was left with bruises along her waist and hip, and is now booked in for a back scan: “People came to help me because I think I have twisted my hip and I can’t tell you the pain I have been in. I can’t sleep or sit down or do anything.

“I felt so upset and I have been in so much pain, it really shook me.”

Brenda added: “I have difficulty with drivers all the time not stopping near to the kerb.

“It is dangerous for myself, disabled people and people with prams.”

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She becomes anxious catching the bus alone, in case no-one is around to help her board.

“I get so nervous getting off the bus because some drivers get the hump about it and say they can’t get any nearer - but they can.

“I find they don’t seem to understand the difficulties that disabled people have and they don’t seem to realise that they need to stop nearer the path.”

The drivers need “retraining or reminding” that disabled people use the bus as well, Brenda stressed.

A spokesperson from bus operator Metroline said: “Our drivers are trained to pull in close to the kerb wherever possible and be ready to offer help to older and disabled customers.

“We work with a number of older and disabled customer groups to help our drivers better understand the challenges passengers face when using the bus and news of such an incident is very disappointing.

“Providing a safe and accessible service for all our customers is our priority and our Transport Safety Team will investigate this incident.”

Metroline are investigating the incident fully, he said.

The number 84 bus stops in St Albans city centre, London Colney, Colney Fields Retail Park, Potters Bar, and New Barnet.