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Disabled man refused entry on buses takes legal action against bus company Arriva
A disabled man from north Watford is taking legal action against bus company Arriva because he is so fed up with drivers persistently refusing to pick him up.
Wheelchair-bound Shaz Hossain, 28, who suffers from cerebral palsy which also affects his speech, complained for years that Arriva drivers were deliberately not taking him aboard buses due to there not being enough time or space to accommodate him.
Mr Hossain, who is a freelance multimedia developer, said he has now resorted to legal action against the firm in order to improve bus experiences not just for himself but for all disabled people.
He said: "Through the years I have been treated very badly by various bus drivers.
"The treatment I have received varies from bus drivers driving straight past me to being told there is no space for me as I am in a wheelchair when I can clearly see there is, to being told by the bus drivers that they have not got time to open the ramp or the ramp isn't working.
"As a result of these issues I try not to use the bus whenever possible and rather use my wheelchair to get to places.
"However there are some occasions when it is unavoidable such as going to doctor appointments, or meeting friends or even catching a train, and this is when this type of discrimination really can affect you.
"For example when you are waiting for a bus at quarter past midnight it is slightly unnerving to see the bus driver drive off in front of you and leaving you with the question how am I going to get home?
"For example in one incident a bus was approaching and the bus driver clearly saw me. As I indicated with my hand that I wanted to get on unfortunately he deliberately stopped further away from me to let the other passengers off and then let the waiting passengers on.
"He then continued his journey and I was left behind. The bus was barely half full and there were no buggies or other wheelchair users inside. It should have been obvious to the bus driver that I wanted to board as I was at the bus stop and indicating clearly for his bus.
"This is when I thought enough was enough and decided to look into taking legal action."
Mr Hossain, of Hillrise Avenue, also said he wants anyone who has suffered the same experiences as him to contact him.
He added: "I have always been passionate about equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
"The main reason I wanted to take legal action against Arriva is to let the public know what is happening as I feel that having a disability should not make you feel less equal to other people that travel.
"You should not be penalised just because you are in a wheelchair or any other disability as we all have a right to public transport.
"If there are other people that are facing this type of discrimination then I think they have a right to be heard.
"Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if any readers would like to get in touch."
In a statement Arriva said: "In view of the pending legal action, it is inappropriate for us to comment at this stage."
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