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  1. ITV Report

'I demand equality' says Katie Pennick, turned away from a London bus because she uses a wheelchair

A woman who was turned away from a London bus because she uses a wheelchair is working with transport bosses to help improve the network.

Bus driver refuses to let Katie Pennick get on board

Katie Pennick says she was brought up to "demand full equality" and today met with Transport for London and bus company Arriva after being refused access to services in north London.

Earlier this month, Ms Pennick filmed a London bus driver as he allowed other passengers get on as she waited on the pavement.

She said today's meeting was "very thorough and productive" and added that TfL were taking her complaint seriously.

It's a cultural issue. It's a snarky comment there and it's a missed bus here and it's all these things that add up to paint a picture of a really frustrating, stressful and really negative experience.

I explained all the issues I have both in terms of getting on the bus, if there's a buggy in the wheelchair space.

The fact I get into arguments with bus drivers. The fact I'm met with a lot of contempt from bus drivers who try and argue with me or are hostile or aggressive - not really communicating.

– Katie Pennick
Katie meeting transport bosses from Transport for London and Arriva

Transport for London explained how their procedures are meant to work on board their services. But Ms Pennick said she could "count on one hand" the number of times that has happened.

The people from [bus company] Arriva were really sincere and seemed genuinely upset at the issues I was facing and wanting to do something abuot them.

They explained to me the difficulties they have from their side - the fact they have such a high turnaround of new drivers each year 10 per cent of their fleet - 500 new people each year.

– Katie Pennick
Katie Pennick at Transport or London

Katie said she would start working with the bus company immediately to improve the way it treats people who use wheelchairs - including visiting some of the garages and speaking with the drivers.

I'll also hopefully be meeting with the designers of the bus fleet who are in the process of redesigning the buses for me to make my case for the double-spaced wheelchair and buggy space.

I think the are really keen to make things better - they had all their top people in this room and I did feel listened to.

I'm aware things take a really long time. I'm willing to put that effort in and we left it as I'm going to have more of a co-operative relationship. They did stress they want my help with this.

Ten years ago there was virtually no access on public transport I am aware things are the best they've ever been but I've been brought up to demand full equality.

– Katie Pennick