A YOUNG Pilton mum has told the Gazette about how she was twice barred from boarding a bus home because she was unable to fold her child s pushchair. Laden with shopping and her nine-week-old baby Max during torrential downpours last week, Hannah Lavercom
A YOUNG Pilton mum has told the Gazette about how she was twice barred from boarding a bus home because she was unable to fold her child's pushchair.Laden with shopping and her nine-week-old baby Max during torrential downpours last week, Hannah Lavercombe, 22, waited at Green Lanes Shopping Centre for the 3.15pm First Devon and Cornwall Bus to her home near North Devon District Hospital.When an empty single-decker bus pulled up, shocked Hannah, who gave birth by cesarean just nine weeks ago, was told by the driver that if she didn't collapse the pushchair, she couldn't travel."I couldn't believe it," she said."I could understand if the bus was busy, but there wasn't a single person on it. "The driver could have chosen to go up to the hospital with just me on it, but he said it was company policy and chose to go up with an empty bus instead."Max was screaming, it was pouring with rain and I had a cover over the buggy and lots of shopping in the storage compartment."I couldn't fold it on my own as you need two hands to do it and I would have had to put Max on the floor or on a seat."Hannah waited for the next bus at 3.45pm but after being met with the same response by another First Devon and Cornwall driver, decided to walk across town in the rain to Barnstaple bus station."I eventually got on a First double-decker at 4.15pm," she continued. "There were four mums on there with pushchairs and the driver didn't ask a single one of us to fold them up.Disgusted husband Nick, 24, said he phoned First Devon and Cornwall to complain about what had happened. "It's a crazy situation, not just for us, but for other mothers with young children wanting to use the bus," he told the Gazette."Everyone wants you to go on public transport, but if you try and use it, they tell you that you can't."First UK Bus, South West and Wales spokesperson Karen Baxter said that the rules were in place in the interests of passenger safety.She said: "We would like to extend our apologies to Mrs Lavercombe for the disruption she encountered to her journey."Having investigated this incident, it seems that while there was space on the vehicle on the day in question, and the bus did have a low floor, the bus did not have any designated space inside to accommodate an unfolded buggy. We appreciate that this may have been frustrating for Mrs Lavercombe, and we would apologise wholeheartedly for this. The rules are in place to protect passengers' safety.