A WHEELCHAIR user was left upset after a bus driver asked her weight before she could come aboard, her husband said.

Margaret Miller, 58, suffers from osteoarthritis, epilepsy and learning difficulties.

Her husband Keith, who is also disabled, said the driver challenged them, asking for his wife’s weight in her powered wheelchair and whether they had a permit allowing them on to the bus.

Mr Miller said: “I was a bit surprised at first but I assumed he meant our disabled bus passes.

“But he said no, we had to have a permit, and asked my wife’s weight. I thought it was an early April Fool or something. I said the chair is about 60kg, otherwise you can mind your own business.

“He was quite a jobsworth, eventually he said we could come aboard this time but we would need a permit in future.”

The incident happened as they boarded a Yellow Bus from Strouden Park on their way to Boscombe market.

Mr Miller added: “We have found in the past that drivers have not shown much consideration for disabled passengers, not bothering to drop the ramp for instance, and several years ago my wife was tipped out of her chair when a bus turned a corner.”

Yellow Buses has apologised to the couple for the mix-up over the permits, which were introduced earlier this month for users of mobility scooters following Department for Transport guidelines.

The company’s head of marketing, Jenni Wilkinson, said: “We’re obviously sorry that Mr and Mrs Miller felt the need to complain to us and have apologised for the way this particular matter was handled.

“However, we totally refute any suggestion that our drivers are not completely professional when dealing with members of the public with disabilities.”

She said drivers received thorough disability awareness training including using a wheelchair themselves, as well as glasses which simulate impaired vision, and they must undergo regular refresher courses as part of their mandatory Certificate of Professional Competence.