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Wheelchair users take legal action against De Lijn

17:11 22/02/2023

Four wheelchair users have decided to take legal action against transport company De Lijn, which operates trams and buses in Flanders.

Their complaint details 13 separate incidences between March 2019 and November 2022 in which discriminatory behaviour occurred.

Those incidents include drivers refusing to stop for wheelchair users hailing a ride from a bus stop, buses not being equipped with wheelchair ramps and one case in which a bus driver stated that he did not know how to operate the ramp.

Unia, an independent public institution in Belgium which fights discrimination, promotes equal opportunities and protects fundamental rights, has joined the lawsuit to support the wheelchair users.

The complainants want De Lijn to set up a committee to handle complaints involving disabled people and ensure that all its buses are properly equipped with wheelchair ramps.

They are also seeking €650 in compensation per discriminatory incident.

The case will be heard in Mechelen, where De Lijn’s headquarters are located. A verdict is not expected until autumn.

Written by Helen Lyons