Disabled passengers say they face a daily struggle to board buses in West London due to an ageing fleet.
The ramps on older buses are too steep and often out of order, say wheelchair users, who claim the problem is particularly acute on the 235 route from Brentford to Sunbury, via Hounslow.
Their concerns have been taken up by the charity Transport for All, which has written to Transport for London (TfL) calling for improvements.
Wheelchair user Wasif Bhatti, 34, of Barrack Road, Hounslow, said: “I can’t use those buses unless I have someone to help me on board because I’m worried I will topple backwards. They’re so hard to board that I’m put off using them, which means I don’t go out as much, and it’s the same for other wheelchair users.
“I wrote to TfL and was told newer buses would be introduced by 2017 (when TfL’s contract with bus operator Abellio expires) but that’s too long to wait. It’s not good enough.”
TfL has taken significant steps to improve disabled access on buses across the capital in recent years and aims to make at least 95 per cent of stops fully accessible by 2016.
A spokesman for TfL said it had received very few complaints about access on the 235 route. He urged passengers experiencing problems to report them.
Mike Weston, operations director for London Buses, said its bus route was one of the world’s most accessible and the ramps on every vehicle were checked each day,
Jessica Beal, of Transport for All, which campaigns for better access for people with disabilities, said things were improving but there was a long way to go.
“Most buses across London are accessible to wheelchair users but there are times when the ramps don’t work, and we need to keep pressing TfL to resolve that,” she said. “There’s also a big issue with pushchairs taking up space for wheelchairs, especially on crowded routes like the 235.
“We want to work with TfL and bus companies across London to make sure they’re listening to what disabled people want.”
* To report problems with buses call 0343 222 1234 or email email@example.com, noting the bus number, which can be found on a notice near the wheelchair bay, or other details of your journey such as the route number and time of journey.