For the last few days Angela and I have been going out with the power-chair in an attempt to ascertain if there are any issues that will cause us problems down the line, we have a trip to London on the horizon and did not want to wait until the last-minute only to find out we could not travel, we had concerns about not being able to get the power-chair on the local bus, those worries were partly justified on Tuesday while returning from Leeds we ran into a few problems.
When we came to get on the bus, the driver lowered the ramp and I pushed it on the bus, with my visual problems, I had worried that I would not be able to steer the chair using the rear control. I have been getting around problems like this for many years now and I have learned a few tricks in the process, like when I enter a room I tend to stay close to the door on my good side that way I know that I have clearance on my blind side, this was the tactic I used to get the chair on the bus yesterday and it paid off.
It was once we were on the bus where the real problem began, the space in the wheelchair bay is limited and the turning space is not that great, there is also the bar that supports the upper deck, and it is difficult to get round this bar with a manual wheelchair let alone a powered one.
When we came to get off the bus we found we were stuck, Angela had to get out of the chair and I had to push the chair off of the bus. Going into Leeds we walked it to the main road and boarded the Sapphire bus, those have a much larger wheelchair bay and the space for turning is greater.
Yesterday we set off again, this time to the train station at Woodlesford, it is a long walk, but we will have more room to manoeuvre on the train. So, we can ether walk to the train station or we can walk to the main road and board the Sapphire bus, I don’t mind, I am perfectly happy walking with Angela.
Today we are going to try the Sapphire bus again. It is just a matter of practice and more practice until we get it right, living with a disability is not an easy thing to do, you have your limitations and it can be hurtful seeing others doing the things that you want to do without any issues.
It would be a lot easier for us though if Arriva were to put the Sapphire bus on our route, Hint, Hint. Also, Angela does not have the confidence just yet to drive herself onto the bus, I can understand that, it all new and even though we have liability insurance, we don’t want to make an insurance claim just yet to buy Arrives a new bus. you can see a snippet of our test run on my facebook page