Clacton: disabled Dominic angry after being turned away from bus

Dominic with wife Natasha and daughter Anna.

Dominic with wife Natasha and daughter Anna. Buy this photo

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A WHEELCHAIR user was left furious after being turned away from a bus.

Dominic Lund-Conlon flagged down the 137 Hedingham bus from Station Road, in Clacton, to go to the town’s Tesco store, along with wife Natasha and six-month-old daughter, Anna, who he was carrying in a sling.

The 26-year-old was appalled when the driver refused to let him board the bus, as there were already buggies in the space set aside for wheelchairs.

“Legally, wheelchairs have priority over buggies,” said Mr Lund-Conlon, who suffers from muscular dystrophy.

“Under the Disability Discrimination Act, the driver should have enforced the law and asked the passengers to fold their buggies or leave the vehicle.

“I told him that he was breaking the law, but he was adamant that he wasn’t going to get involved.

“Then, when I asked the mothers to fold down their buggies, they refused.”

He added: “I was considering putting my wheelchair in front of the bus and calling the police.”

With the driver and passengers refusing to help, the couple were forced to let the bus go and wait for the next one, due half an hour later.

Mrs Lund-Conlon was left as angry and upset as her husband.

She said: “The driver should have taken responsibility for the situation.

“Passengers also need to be more co-operative and realise how hard it can be to get around if you’re disabled.”

Hedingham Omnibuses managing director Robert MacGregor said the driver had been caught between the mothers and Mr Lund-Conlon during the incident.

“But the wheelchair user should always come first,” he said.

“We are going to do our very best to sort this out and make sure the situation doesn’t happen again. We will be putting up posters from Essex County Council telling passengers to give up the wheelchair space to disabled people.

“Hopefully, that way we re-emphasise the point.”

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