Let me preface this review by explaining that I had never previously travelled on a bus using my electric wheelchair. It’s not easily lifted if the step is too big, and I worried that I would be left stranded somewhere with no way home!
I recently visited family in the Cotswolds and we used the buses most days. Every Stagecoach bus had a ramp – some built in to the floor and some foldable ramps in the luggage area. Unlike London buses, the ramps are extended manually, so the driver would lower the height of the bus from his cab, then exit the bus to unfold the ramp and put it away again.
Some buses had more room for me to manouevre into the wheelchair bay than others, but I managed not to run anybody’s feet over!
My only slight niggle was that it was awkward to buy a ticket, because I had to be partway down the aisle before the driver could fold the ramp and get back into the cab. Despite this, none of the drivers made me feel as though I was being an inconvenience, in fact most of them were very friendly and made me feel completely comfortable.
Spurred on by this successful experience, I have decided to apply for a bus pass in my area and see how First Midlands buses compare. Wish me luck!