A normal person thinks nothing of stepping on and off a London bus, however for a large proportion for us elderly and disabled people it is a very big step, and one we view with trepidation, each time we get on and off a bus.

I am disabled and have to use a stick for support to get about; my movements are severely restricted with osteoarthritis that I have to watch the world go by when walking. So getting on and off buses is a serious step for me, yet it could be made a lot easier if bus drivers would pull up to the kerb and not leave nine inch to a foot gap between the bus and the kerb.

Likewise I have even more difficulty if I want the bus behind, as the kerb drops away, most passengers walk to the bus to get on and I then have two problems, the walking and then getting on the bus itself, now and then you get a driver who will assist you by lowering the platform, but it is not the norm.

I have on many occasions indicated to the driver that I can’t get on the bus where it is stationed and many of them have pulled up to the stop, but there are other drivers who will pull away.

The other problem you get is the bus driver following will pull his bus slightly out behind the lead, I am told this is to make it easier for the lead bus to pull out in front of oncoming traffic, and it is even more difficult to get on. I must say when I get on the bus and it is full, passengers of all ages are very good at giving up there seat, particularly on the 319 and the 249 which I use regularly.

Likewise getting off the bus I have the same problems but in reverse, some elderly and disabled people have given up using the buses because they are concerned, which deprives them getting out and about. So I think the time is well over due for the management of Transport for London to get their act together and sort these problems out. If need be start a retraining programme to make the drivers more sensitive to the needs of the elderly and disabled, so that they can once again enjoy their travel and not view it with trepidation.

Andy Cunningham, (Independent Campaigner) Based on information supplied by .