Travel is a lottery for disabled Kevin

Kevin Barrass who is unhappy with the 'easy access' Arriva buses from Pegswood to Morpeth and Ashington.
Kevin Barrass who is unhappy with the 'easy access' Arriva buses from Pegswood to Morpeth and Ashington.

A DISABLED Pegswood resident is urging a transport company to end his bus lottery.

Wheelchair-bound Kevin Barrass believes it is unacceptable that only some of the Arriva North East vehicles are easy access low floor, which help those less mobile and people with pushchairs to use them.

This means he sometimes has to wait for more than an hour to get on a suitable bus to Morpeth or Ashington.

The 49-year-old said: “Sometimes they are alright, but often the bus that comes is not easy access so I have to wait for ages hoping the next one is suitable.

“It’s pot luck which type of bus comes along. This has gone on for the two years I have been in a wheelchair and quite frankly I’ve had enough.

“It’s unfair on me and everyone else who needs an easy access bus. When I got in touch with Arriva I was told that it had until 2016 to provide a full fleet of these buses.

“It is doing all it needs to do by law, but it is not bothered whether a significant number of its customers are happy or not — surely that’s the most important thing when you are running a business.

“We pay more for bus fares in Northumberland than many other parts of the country because of the distances between places and yet some areas have all easy access buses and we don’t. How is that fair?”

An Arriva North East spokesman said that work was ongoing to replace all its older style vehicles with easy access buses, but it is being done in stages as the process is costly.

“However, we are well ahead of schedule in our efforts to have a full easy access fleet in place before the Government deadline of 2016,” he added.