Bus driver tells mum: No strollers

MICHELLE DUFF
Last updated 05:00 27/11/2013
Jane Crichton was warned by a bus driver that she would not be allowed on a Go Wellington bus with a stroller
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ
STROLLER DEBATE: Jane Crichton was warned by a bus driver that she would not be allowed on a Go Wellington bus with a stroller when she boarded with her daughter Sofia, 2, in Karori.

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A heavily pregnant mother says a Go Wellington bus driver threatened to bump her off a bus if she brought her stroller on board again.

Jane Crichton is now worried she won't be able to use public transport, after she says a driver on a Karori route barked at her for bringing her stroller on board.

Crichton, who is 36 weeks pregnant, was boarding the bus in the rain yesterday to take her 2-year-old daughter Sofia to daycare when the driver warned her he did not carry prams.

He said he would overlook the stroller that day, but next time he wouldn't be so kind, Crichton said. "I was so stunned I couldn't actually say anything, but I was like, ‘What do you want me to do, walk to town?'."

The Karori mother said she had been catching buses on that route for a year with no problems, and that there were only four or five people on the bus when she got on.

When the driver objected to the stroller, she pointed to the stroller symbol on the bus, and he replied that it was "just a guideline" and that it "meant nothing" on his bus.

Crichton laid a complaint with Metlink, which she said was sympathetic.

"They told me he shouldn't be saying that . . . hopefully I don't see that driver again. I fear that he won't stop when he sees me now."

Go Wellington chief operating officer Rachel Drew said strollers could be carried on all buses, but Metlink guidelines said they needed to be folded and put in the luggage or wheelchair area.

This was because it was a health and safety matter if the aisles were blocked, she said.

"It's OK to bring them on if they're folded up and out of the way, so other passengers aren't put in a dangerous situation."

Crichton said her small umbrella stroller was not folded, but the driver had not mentioned it.

Drew said the driver involved would be spoken to.

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- Fairfax Media

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