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Dublin: 1 °C Wednesday 17 January, 2018
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A Dublin bus has turned away a wheelchair-user...

Caroline O’Leary was turned away from a number 13 bus as a child’s buggy was occupying the wheelchair space on board.

A WHEELCHAIR USER was refused entry to a Dublin bus because the priority space on the bus was taken by a woman with a buggy.

The incident happened on the number 13 bus at Ballymun Shopping Centre on the city’s northside.

54-year-old Caroline O’Leary told TheJournal.ie that when she told the bus driver that she should have priority, he insisted that she shouldn’t.

“I was with my daughter and granddaughter, who we were bringing to Temple Street Hospital,” she said.

I was on the left of the doors and the girl with the buggy was on the other side. Immediately the bus stopped she pushed her way on and took up the wheelchair space. The driver then told me he was sorry, but there was no room.

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I told him that I should have priority and he told me that I don’t. Then he shut the doors.
Five seconds later he opened them again, just as it was starting to rain, and asked me if I wanted to speak to his controller. We told him to drive on and stop annoying us.
He insisted that “there’s nothing physically I can do about it”, so I presume the woman must have refused to move.

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Caroline confirmed to us that the 13 bus, which runs between Harristown and Clondalkin, is the only service on which she has ever experienced this kind of trouble.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Noeleen Reilly says the situation is “not acceptable”.

“This has happened to Caroline and other wheel chair users on numerous occasions and it is not acceptable,” she said.

All signs on Dublin Bus state that people in wheelchairs must be given priority and this is simply not happening.

Dublin Bus is currently investigating the incident.

“Wheelchair users have priority over everyone else for the use of the wheelchair space as this is the only place in which they can travel safely,” a spokeswoman told TheJournal.ie.

However, if a wheelchair user wishes to board a bus and there is an unfolded buggy in this space, the driver will request the buggy owner to fold their buggy but cannot compel them to fold them.
We regularly run poster campaigns on all buses in our fleet to highlight to all customers that this space is a dedicated space for wheelchair users.

Read: A wheelchair passenger has lodged a complaint with Irish Rail after being locked on a train for 35 minutes

Read: Council plans to build houses on recreational area – and some locals are not happy

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