Somerset College student's frustration with First Bus services in Taunton (From Somerset County Gazette)
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Somerset College student's frustration with First Bus services in Taunton
11:30am Tuesday 30th October 2012 in Taunton
A FRUSTRATED student says she was left stranded for three hours because First Bus services cannot always cater for wheelchairs.
Jasmine Rankin, from Taunton, said attempting to travel around the town had been ‘a nightmare’ because of poor access on to buses.
She told the County Gazette: “It is simply not fair. It is unacceptable that someone in a wheelchair should not get the same bus service as anybody else.
“I have had problems in the past but when my entire day was ruined by the lack of access on First buses I felt I had to speak out.”
The 19-year-old said she was trying to travel from her home in Galmington to Somerset College on the number four service but had to let several buses pass because they were too high for wheelchair users.
By law, all buses must be low floor and Disability Discrimination Act compliant (DDA) by 2017.
A spokesman for First Bus said the company regretted the situation and added: “We would like to offer our apologies to Ms Rankin.
“We are working towards a situation where our entire fleet is low floor and easily accessible.
“Unfortunately, while we are continuing to invest in our fleet, at present we do not have enough low floor, DDA compliant vehicles to guarantee that every journey we operate will be provided by such a vehicle.
“We will establish what, if any, reasonable adjustments can be made to ensure that Ms Rankin is better able to access our services.”