Sutton family’s disgust as disabled toddler not allowed on a bus

Shontelle Austin with daughter Iyra, four, who suffers with Cerebal Palsy, Dad Kevin and son Taylon
Shontelle Austin with daughter Iyra, four, who suffers with Cerebal Palsy, Dad Kevin and son Taylon

A disabled three-year-old was refused access to bus travel because the space where her wheelchair could go was taken up with pushchairs.

Parents of Iyra Austin, who has cerebral palsy, are currently fundraising for a life-changing operation to help the youngster walk, are furious and disgusted that no one made a space for them which meant they could not board the bus.

Dad Kevin, 29 from Peel Street in Sutton, does not drive so gets the bus to take his children to school and on Wednesday, March 2 they had to wait in the cold for the next bus.

He said: “Iyra has her wheelchair and she can only sit in one place but the parents with pushchairs were on both sides of the bus and refused to fold them up so we had no where to go.

“They were acting as if we were invisible - it was disgusting.”

The problem occurred on a 3c Trent Barton bus service which stopped at Unwin Road.

Tom Morgan director of service delivery for the company said: “The driver was in a very difficult situation and acted as well he could because he made the request for the parents to store their pushchairs but they didn’t.

“We offer a first come first service basis to the spots which are not reserved for wheel chairs but just wheelchair friendly and as these passengers had already bought a ticket we had entered into a contract with them.”

Kevin understands that but think the parents behaved badly, he said: “The driver didn’t do enough for us. Iyra has no choice to but to be in a wheelchair and it would be unsafe for her to sit on a normal bus seat but the parents who took up the space could have had their children on their knee, but they chose not to.

“It was ridiculous and I am sick of how people treat those in wheelchairs.”

The journey made Iyra late for nursery and Kevin angry.

He said: “People always moan about disabled car parking spots being taken up by people who don’t need them and the same for disabled toilets I don’t understand how a bus is different.

“I know its not the law to allow a wheelchair user to sit there but those people clearly didn’t have a conscience or they would have done the right thing and let my little girl onto the bus.”