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First Bus Apology After Driver Refuses Disabled Woman’s Walking Bike

March 9, 2022

A disabled student left in tears when a bus driver refused let her bring a mobility aid on board has won an apology.

Sam Cleasby, 40, from Sheffield, was attempting to get to university when she was told she could not bring her walking bike on the bus.

Ms Cleasby, who has ulcerative colitis, said she was “devastated”.

First Bus Midlands managing director Nigel Eggleton apologised and said what happened “was quite wrong”.

Ms Cleasby said she was told her walking bike was too big for the bus, and claimed the driver said space at the front was reserved for “real disabled people”.

“It was a bit of a shock. I was in tears, I was angry, I was telling him that it was illegal discrimination of a disabled person,” she said.

“Not every person is going to know about every single mobility aid, but what you don’t do is tell somebody they’re lying.

“It was awful and humiliating and totally unnecessary.”

Ms Cleasby pointed out that folding bikes are permitted on buses under First’s policies, and her walking aid could be collapsed if required.

Mr Eggleton from First Bus apologised to Ms Cleasby “for the obvious distress that was caused”.

“Today we will be talking to our driver to try and understand why he behaved in the way that he did,” he told BBC Radio Sheffield.

He said while staff were trained, “something hasn’t worked here” and they would work to find out what happened.

“We’ll crack it. We cannot discriminate in the way that we did yesterday, that is quite wrong and we need to deal with it.”

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