A Perth pensioner has labelled a new hospital bus service “a fiasco”.
Irene Thomsin said it “defies belief” that bus company Stagecoach appears to have ignored the fact that most people who use its X7 service have a “health issue”.
Mrs Thomsin was less than impressed when she caught the 10.10am bus from Perth Royal Infirmary (PRI) to Ninewells in Dundee on Friday and had to find a seat upstairs.
“I fail to see why such an unsuitable vehicle has been designated for the hospital run,” she said. “It is plain to see that this is a cost-cutting exercise.”
She continued: “There are two seats immediately behind the driver obviously for the disabled. Behind this is a wall/barrier, with no access to any further seating.
“Despite having a serious health issue, I chose to leave these seats for anyone with a visible disability. I then proceeded to climb the Matterhorn.”
Mrs Thomsin said she could see “varying levels” of distress shown by all passengers on the journey.
She added: “There were no exceptions. Admittedly, the majority were older people but any time we have made use of this facility there are always more elderly passengers.
“Going downstairs is equally hazardous as the steps themselves are so, so steep.”
Mrs Thomsin claims that nurses told her the new bus has led to “massive delays”.
“We were lucky as it was only 10 minutes late, but in the severely low temperatures experienced on Friday, I hate to think of the consequences of having to wait 30-40 minutes as the staff reported,” she went on.
“Experiencing the difficulty of the journey, we were glad to have got on at PRI as I feel it would have been impossible to safely negotiate the stairway while the bus was moving.”
Andrew Jarvis, managing director for Stagecoach East Scotland, said: “Although we have had some negative feedback on the use of these luxury coaches, the first two weeks of operation showed overall customer numbers up 10.5% year-on-year, with disabled customers increasing by 9.7% and concession card holders up 12.2%.”