Gran in wheelchair told no bus until 2016

Luton carer Jade Pierri and her nan Gladys Croft who were not allowed on a bus with Gladys' wheelchair
Luton carer Jade Pierri and her nan Gladys Croft who were not allowed on a bus with Gladys' wheelchair

A young carer waiting to take her wheelchair-user nan home on the bus was stunned to be told by three separate drivers there wouldn’t be a suitable vehicle until 2016.

Jade Pierri, 21, and her 80-year-old nan Gladys Croft, had caught the No 1 into town with no problems, as they had done on countless previous occasions.

But when they tried to get home to Farley Hill on Thursday, January 22, they were told it wasn’t possible.

Jade said: “I was so angry and upset I was shaking. My nan suffers from dementia and sometimes forgets how to walk which is why she’s in a wheelchair.

“Thank goodness I had some money on me because we had to go round the corner and get a taxi.

“But we haven’t been into town since.”

When her parents went into the Arriva office to complain, they were told that some drivers took the bend into Church Street too tightly and were unable to let down the ramp.

Former Putteridge High pupil Jade – who lives with her family in Bolingbroke Road – is devoted to her nan.

She said: “She looked after me when I was little and now it’s my turn to give something back to her.

“She was such a strong lady and used to be such fun. But she’s become really fragile.

“Now I’m worried I won’t be able to take her out. And what will happen if she needs to go to hospital?”

An Arriva spokeswoman said: “The majority of vehicles used on the 1 and 4 services are unable to accommodate wheelchairs. In March we take delivery of 13 new vehicles which are fully accessible for wheelchairs.

“We can only apologise for the inconvenience this has caused and we hope the new vehicles offer a real improvement in accessing the town using bus services.”