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Bus Users disappointed at Supreme Court Ruling

Bus Users disappointed at Supreme Court Ruling

With both sides claiming victory, Bus Users has expressed disappointment at today’s ruling by the Supreme Court in the case of FirstGroup plc v Paulley.

The ruling has allowed Doug Paulley’s appeal, but only to the extent that FirstGroup’s policy requiring a driver to simply request a non-wheelchair user to vacate the space without taking any further steps was unjustified.

In its press statement, the Supreme Court states that ‘where a driver who has made such a request concludes that a refusal is unreasonable, he or she should consider some further steps to pressurise the non-wheelchair user to vacate the space, depending on the circumstances.’ However, it did not make it a legal requirement that someone refusing to vacate the space should be required to leave the bus.

Claire Walters, Chief Executive of Bus Users said: “This ruling has failed to provide clarity for either drivers or passengers. While it is now a requirement for drivers to take further steps where a reasonable request to move is refused, it is not clear what those steps should be and the driver has no legal basis on which to require a passenger to leave the bus if they refuse to move.

 “Rather than having to decide whose needs are greatest, what is actually needed are better-designed buses that can accommodate the needs of the people who use them.”

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