Regular readers of this blog will know I have raised a number of concerns about the accessibility of Lothian Buses new 100 seat bus – the Enviro400XLB.
I raised concerns about the lack of buggy space in November, but was reassured in December that a shared space could accommodate both a buggy and a wheelchair. However, in my most recent blog I revealed that Lothian Buses where now claiming only smaller buggies could now fit alongside a wheelchair.
Today I received a more detailed explanation on this from Lothian Buses:
All of our vehicles comply fully with the Public Services Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 (PSVAR), which in terms of the provision of a dedicated wheelchair space require that the length for the space should be a minimum of 1300mm.
The 100 seat buses have a dedicated wheelchair space which is 397mm larger than the legally required minimum and is designed so that both wheelchairs and buggy users can co-exist in a shared space.
This implies that when the wheelchair space is occupied, there will be 397mm available for a buggy. This got me wondering just how wide a buggy is… so I went Mothercare.
I found they had a HUGE range of buggies and prams to choose from. However, of the 40 buggies I measured none were narrower than 397mm. They were not even anywhere near that.
The smallest I found was the Mothercare Jive Stroller with “hearts” design. A really helpful staff member confirmed that at just £34 is was one of their most popular models. However, even it is 450mm wide – far too big for the space allocated by Lothian Buses.
It is important to note that on their website, Lothian Buses say:
To make the travel experience even better for you if you’re travelling with young children, many of our newest buses have an additional space for a buggy as well as the wheelchair space.
I like this as it makes it clear that Lothian Buses recognise the value of ensuring families have access to public transport. However, it’s not clear why Lothian Buses decided that this policy should not apply to the Enviro400XLB or why customers were not consulted.