lördag 16 december 2006

75 year old passenger killed on Brighton bus

Bus Interior
Originally uploaded by seadipper.

A 75 year old passenger was killed on a Brighton bus recently. The bus, operated by Stagecoach, was going down North Street when a man carrying a can of drink wandered into the road and the driver had to brake hard. The passenger, who was standing, presumably getting ready to alight at the next stop, was thrown down and sustained head injuries from which he later died.

Of course it is not possible to comment on the precise incident, or on the vehicle in which he was travelling, but the illustration shows that the grab poles are so far apart that it is easy to be out of reach of one and at risk of falling should the bus brake hard or go round a corner. I have myself ended up in someone's lap when a Brighton & Hove bus turned a corner as I was moving forward to get off the bus.

The advice given is that people should remain seated until the bus stops but this is impracticable as the driver might move off before the alighting passenger had reached the exit.

The real problem is that the buses are designed this way for wheelchair accessibility, but the fact is that making buses accessible for people with one disability makes them dangerous for people with the much commoner disabilities that go with advancing age.

The whole issue of wheelchair use on buses needs to be reviewed.

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