Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has criticised the Department for Transport’s statement, released by Minister Nusrat Ghani MP, which does not commit to protecting wheelchair users‘ rights in law when they use buses.
The government have announced that it will "develop proposals" to ensure that wheelchair users can access busses. Daniel Zeichner MP, who led for Labour on the Bus Services Bill this time last year, comments that this is "just more stalling, which is letting down disabled passengers who are being held back by a lack of protection in the law". The government’s Task and Finish group on this issue recommended legislating to give drivers the tools they need to protect disabled passengers‘ rights. Responding to this, the Department’s statement said they would "work closely with stakeholders" to develop their plans.
Mr Zeichner says:
"Labour tabled an amendment to the Bill to address this very problem, this time last year. Now the Bus Services Act has passed into law without this crucial change – because the Conservatives refused to back us. I tabled New Clause 4, which would have forced bus operators to make sure that adjustments are made for any disabled passenger on the bus. By refusing to act even now, they are really letting down wheelchair users a year down the line. "