West Norfolk bus rules put brakes on 85-year-old Beryl's travel scooter
Eighty-five-year-old Beryl Squirrell was over the moon with her new mobility scooter and the freedom it gave her after she stopped driving.
She was looking forward to catching the bus to Lynn from her home at Harpley and using the folding travel scooter to get around the shops.
It was a case of 'have travel scooter, will travel'. That was the plan – or so she thought!
But on her second trip the bus pulled up and the driver told her “you're not putting that on my bus.”
“He was really crabby – in fact, he was horrible. Things got a bit heated and though he did eventually let me on, when we got to Lynn he said 'you won't get home again.' Luckily I got a more helpful driver next time.
“I had put the scooter on the bus the previous week with no problem and that driver was lovely so I had no idea there was an issue. There was no reason for this one to be so rude and unpleasant.”
Beryl now faces travelling to the Lynx depot at Lynn on August 3 to take a test to prove she can fold and handle the scooter safety and earn a travel permit.
“I appreciate it is important to be safe but this scooter only weighs two-and-a-half stone and folds up so neatly it is smaller than some of the shopping trolleys and bags people take on the bus,” she said.
“Obviously I will take the test but it is the way I was told that is upsetting.”
Beryl bought the scooter after deciding to give up her car after having a stroke.
“I wasn't prepared to risk driving so I decided the scooter was the answer and I could still pop into Lynn once a week. My legs don't like me much any more and I could no more walk round town than fly so it is brilliant.”
Using a taxi would cost her around £50 a time, she said.
Apart from being upset by the attitude of the one driver she encountered, Beryl feels other people who use mobility scooters need to be made aware.
“It might be general knowledge but I didn't know about it and I am sure there are a lot of people out there like me who might want to know this," she said.
Lynx buses were contacted but have not responded.
However, there is information on the Confederation of Public Transport website outlining what mobility scooters are allowed on buses and the need for a travellers to have a permit, which companies are part of the scheme and what scooters are allowed to travel.