16th August 2017
I was very impressed with the customer service provided by Peter Allen, the training coordinator at Stagecoach, so firstly a big thanks to him and also Roger who assisted.
Peter talked me through the three day training programme. Day one is focused on customer care and service, day two is specifically focused on disability and social inclusion and day three is focused on dealing with difficult situations the drivers may encounter. I think that all of these factors show that Stagecoach really care about their customers in particular on helping the disabled community.
They take into consideration all aspects of disability whether this be physical or mental, for example if a customer doesn’t always act in the expected manner they shouldn’t be discriminated against and drivers are taught how to deal with this situation. This encourages all members of the community to feel safe and comfortable on Stagecoach buses.
There is an easy to find contact line on the website: https://www.stagecoachbus.com/regional-help-and-contact/west – this can be changed to any area code, I am pleased to say there is a specific disability contact line and email address which is:
Telephone: 01452 418630 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you call this helpline Stagecoach will arrange an out of service bus for a disabled user to practice getting on and off the bus, this way when using a working bus the customer will feel prepared and won’t feel intimidated or uncomfortable. For wheelchair, mobility scooter users or the less mobile, the driver will get off the bus and assist with the ramp and also the suspension will be lowered to the curb. All wheelchair and mobility scooter users are able to use the buses free of charge.
Getting my wheelchair on and off the bus was fairly easy, it was slightly tight to the door of the bus but apart from that there was plenty of space. The driver made sure I was in a safe position before driving the bus.
Stagecoach have a policy that if a wheelchair/mobility scooter is not able to fit within the designated area due to another customer already using the space, they will call a taxi service free of charge and wait with them until the taxi arrives. The exception to this may be if it is a regular ten minute service the driver may ask if the wheelchair user doesn’t mind waiting until the next bus however, they will never leave a wheelchair user at the side of the road without organising some type of transport.
Stagecoach were kind enough to give us their presentation slides relating to disability customers that they present in their training programmes.
Gloucester bus station is currently under major reconstruction, however the accessibility around the station is suitable, there is plenty of space and raised areas on and off the platforms.