Bus Eireann forced to apologise as Donegal wheelchair user left without access in Letterkenny

first_imgA Donegal wheelchair user was left without access to a Bus Eireann bus in Letterkenny despite booking their seat five days in advance. Pat Carter, who uses a wheelchair, and his wife and carer Rose booked two seats on a Bus Éireann bus from Letterkenny to Dublin on Friday 2 August.According to Journal.ie, the Irish coach operator requires wheelchair users to book their seat by phone at least 24 hours in advance of the journey on regional and expressway routes. Up to four seats must be removed from regional and expressway buses to make them wheelchair accessible. This is done in a garage before the journey takes place.Other equipment such as a ramp or a lift, floor tracking and a restraint clamping system are also required for safety. This equipment is checked prior to departure.Their son Kevin Carter described the incident his parents experienced on Bus Éireann last week.They were travelling to Dublin to visit him for the weekend. “They arrived early to the station and when the bus arrived, it was not wheelchair accessible,” said Carter.“The driver said he had no knowledge of this booking and that this was the bus given to him that day for the route.”They rang a Bus Éireann inspector in Dublin who said there had been a mix-up that day with buses. The driver and inspector said there was ‘nothing they could do’.Buses run every two hours from Letterkenny to Dublin, so the Carters waited for the next one in case the two were switched.“So they waited around for two hours, and when the next bus arrived it wasn’t wheelchair accessible either,” said Carter. Again, the Carters rang the inspector in Dublin who said there was nothing they could do at that stage.“They had booked a hotel in Dublin and it was too late to cancel that at this point, they were already hugely out of pocket,” said Carter.In a statement, Bus Éireann said they were investigating the incident on the Letterkenny bus.“We are extremely disappointed to hear of the recent incident and we are currently investigating it,” the statement said. “We would like to sincerely apologise to the customer concerned for the difficulties experienced. We have contacted the customer directly and a full refund has been offered.”Bus Éireann has said it is “committed to the provision of a fully accessible public transport system incorporating fully accessible vehicles and infrastructure”.The fleet of Bus Éireann buses on the commuter and express services are 78% wheelchair accessible. However, not every bus stop is accessible.The company says that even if seats were permanently removed from buses to allow for wheelchair space, the other equipment would still need to be checked before each journey with a wheelchair user.Kevin Carter made a formal complaint to the company after the incident.“It has destroyed any trust she [Rose] may have had in public transport. It’s inexcusable, to be honest,” he said.“It’s one thing to get the money back, but it will take a bit longer to get the trust back.”Read full article here: https://www.thejournal.ie/bus-eireann-wheelchair-user-not-receiving-booked-bus-4758912-Aug2019/?fbclid=IwAR17GBNdwoc4YtawRMLRZihf9xOC6WDu-E-PRkrq1YeOht-BkFhmRDFO6q0Bus Eireann forced to apologise as Donegal wheelchair user left without access in Letterkenny was last modified: August 13th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img