Ban puts brakes on MS sufferer

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Ban puts brakes on MS sufferer

Brakes on: Steph Spokes and John Hulls have been told they are not allowed on a V/Line bus if Steph has her scooter with her.

LEONGATHA couple Steph Spokes and John Hulls have been told they will no longer be welcome on the V/Line bus service.
The pair usually travels from Leongatha to Melbourne, but will have to find an alternative route from now on as Ms Spokes, a Multiple Sclerosis sufferer, cannot leave her mobility scooter in the spacious luggage compartment.
Despite never having trouble with it in the past, the transport company has told the couple that carrying the scooter below deck was unsafe.
“I don’t see how it’s unsafe,” Mr Hulls said.
“We’ve been able to stick it in before without trouble. The handlebars fold right down and the brakes on the wheels mean it won’t move at all.”
In the past the couple has put the scooter in and bus drivers have positioned suitcases around it as a back-up.
A manager from Westernport Roadlines, which runs the V/Line service in the area, told the couple the scooter was not able to continue coming on the bus due to V/Line rules.
“The guys from Westernport were fantastic. They were good enough to let us know, but it still leaves us in a tough spot,” Mr Hulls said.
The duo cannot travel without Ms Spokes’ scooter, as walking too far leaves her exhausted. When not on her scooter, she walks with the aid of a crutch.
“I get tired very quickly. I can’t walk far at all,” she said.
The problem can be solved when Mr Hulls is around to take her to appointments, as he can drive the car, but problems arise when Ms Spokes needs to go on her own.
“Steph’s not the only disabled person around. There are plenty of people in a similar situation that live on their own and are going to struggle with this rule,” Mr Hulls said.
“It’s going to make it hard for them. It’s just going to be a case of too bad if you don’t have any
assistance.”

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Posted by on Mar 7 2012. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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