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Friday 28 July 2017

'I'm like a prisoner' - wheelchair user unable to board bus because ramp wasn't working

Dylan Nelson almost missed a job interview because he was unable to board a bus
Dylan Nelson almost missed a job interview because he was unable to board a bus
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A young wheelchair user has hit out at Dublin Bus after he was unable to board a bus because the ramp was not working.

Dylan Nelson (23) was travelling to a job interview when he tried to board a bus near his home in Crumlin last Friday.

"The driver said to me the ramps not working and a woman at the stop said 'don't you have to check before you bring the bus out?'," Dylan told Independent.ie

He says the driver admitted he "didn't bother" to do so.

"I am sick and tired of it, I'm like a prisoner. I never know if I am actually going to get to my destination," he said.

"This is not the first time and Dublin Bus don;t want to know. I have even put solutions forward," he said.

Raising the kerb for example at bus stops would allow him to get onto the bus without a ramp he said.

Dylan said he has not experienced the same problems with other public transport or facilities elsewhere in the capital.

"Dublin Bus need to get their act together," he said.

"It's very stressful, he came back here in an awful state," his mum Joanne said.

Luckily she was able to bring him to his interview - and he got a callback to attend a second interview next week.

But this is not the first time her son has faced problems with the bus service she said.

"It's happened with buggies, but mainly it's the lift not working.

"It takes away his independence," she added.

A spokeswoman for Dublin Bus told Independent.ie that the incident is under investigation.

"We are currently investigating this incident. The entire Dublin Bus fleet is low floor wheelchair accessible. As part of our daily vehicle checks, each bus is checked by a driver before leaving the depot every morning and a ramp function check is included in this process.

"On services throughout the day, drivers record and report any ramp malfunctions to their depot. However, despite the processes put in place, ramp failures can occur occasionally and the frequency of this is extremely low. Dublin Bus has invested in a major upgrade programme to replace aging ramps on older buses within the fleet in order to address any reliability issues.

"We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused in this situation," she added.

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