18 January 2017
RMT Press Office:
TRANSPORT UNION RMT welcomed today’s ruling by the Supreme Court after a disabled man won a case from when he was left at a bus stop after failing to board a FirstGroup bus in Leeds.
The case was triggered after Doug Paulley was told he could not board a bus to Leeds in 2012, when a mother with a pushchair refused to move at the driver’s request from a space which had been designated – if needed – for the use of a wheelchair.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
“This decision in respect of wheelchair user Doug Paulley is a great result for disabled passengers rights.
“RMT will continue to fight until all disabled people can travel with the same freedom and independence as everyone else.
“By ruling that FirstGroup's policy of requiring a driver to simply request a non-wheelchair user to vacate the space without taking any further steps was unjustified shows that it is not the responsibility of disabled passengers to fight discrimination but the companies offering the service.
“This judgement has serious implications not only for all bus companies but also all those train companies who are disadvantaging disabled people using their services every day. It also reinforces RMT's case for staffing levels that enable people with disabilities equal access to the transport network. "
The official summary of the case can be found here https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2015-0025-press-summary.pdf