92-year-old great-gran pushed home in wheelchair after cab failed to turn up

Marjorie Bond was left cold, exhausted and traumatised by the cab firm blunder. Credit: MEN Syndication

A 92-year-old great-grandmother had to be pushed home in a wheelchair for over a mile in the dark - after a special wheelchair taxi failed to turn up for five hours.

Marjorie Bond was left cold, exhausted and traumatised by the cab firm blunder, which turned a simple journey from her daughter’s home in Didsbury to a care home in Withington into a painful ordeal.

Because Marjorie cannot leave her wheelchair without the care home harness, she was unable to use the bathroom, and endured the indignity of wetting herself while waiting.

Her family have now slammed Mantax, which repeatedly told them their wheelchair cab was ‘on the way’ - even though there were none available.

Marjorie said: “I was scared, I felt unwell without my medication. I was out of my comfort zone.

“I can’t stay long at my daughter’s house because I need a hoist to use the bathroom. When that time had passed I started to panic, I was in pain and crying.

“I use this firm all the time and I never thought they would do this to me.”

She regularly visits her daughter’s home on Fosbrook Avenue in Didsbury, travelling to and from the care home, in Withington, where she lives, with the taxi firm.

Because she cannot be lifted from her wheelchair there, it’s vital she returns to the care home to use the facilities and take her medication.

But as she prepared to return at 6pm, the taxi failed to arrive.

Her family made repeated calls to the operator and were told each time that the taxi was on its way.

After waiting five hours, they gave up.

With help from her son, Graham, daughter Lynne resorted to pushing Marjorie the 1.5 miles home. It took nearly an hour and she did not make it back until close to midnight.

Marjorie's granddaughter, Debbie Esdaille, 32, from Didsbury, told the M.E.N: “By the time she got home she was freezing and traumatised.

“We couldn’t call a regular taxi because she needs wheelchair access.

“My gran worked all her life managing her own business. She retired at 70, she deserves to be treated with dignity.

“Why did Mantax keep telling us they were on their way when they clearly weren’t?”

When the family complained to Mantax they were offered an apology and a £20 voucher to use the service - which they have refused.

Richard Dunn, general manager at Old Trafford -based Mantax, said they had given Marjorie a good service for many years.

He said they took around 15,000 bookings a month - many for wheelchair users - and were used by North West Ambulance Service.

Their drivers are freelance, he said, so able to refuse jobs.

He added: “This was one absolutely isolated and unfortunate incident. Very, very rare, and the family are madly unhappy and I can fully appreciate why.

“We’ve apologised to her unreservedly, offered free travel and she’s thrown that back in our faces.”

He added: “We tried to get it covered by our drivers but unfortunately our drivers were otherwise engaged.

“I think the operator was embarrassed. We had taken her out there and wanted to get her home, she was doing the best she could.

“We are a decent company and this woman has had a good service over the years. This was one terrible incident.”