THE new ftr buses were dubbed as the future of travel for York - and more than £1.6 million of public money was spent preparing the way for them on the city's highways.

But one unhappy customer today claimed the service has fallen short of the mark because of a lack of disabled access at a bus stop.

First's ftr service advertises raised kerbs for easier access, but John Ambler said a moving platform which extends from the bus hits the kerb at the stop and then moves back in, leaving disabled customers stranded and unable to board the bus.

Mr Ambler, of Appleby Place, Tang Hall, contacted First York, which told him to contact City of York Council. Mr Ambler said he did not receive a response from the council when he alerted them to the problem.

He said his wife, Freda, 76, wanted to get on the bus on Heslington Road, outside The Retreat psychiatric hospital, to go into York. But because she is in a wheelchair, she could not get on.

Mr Ambler, 79, said: "It must have been going on for at least a couple of months. We don't tend to go now because we can't get on. One bus driver stopped at the other side of the shelter for us, which worked. Another time, there was a host on and an extra driver on the bus, so we lifted the chair on to the bus. It is just too hit and miss.

"Because my wife is in a wheelchair we can't get on any more. It is a decent walk down to the next stop. All we want is to move the bus sign to the other side of the shelter. I am not asking them to change the road or anything. Even if it's just once that someone can't get on, it has limited access for disabled people."

A First spokesman said it would take the concerns on board, and investigate.

Matt Ward, from the council's planning team, said: "We have been in correspondence with users of the bus stop and are aware of the problem. We can only apologise to anyone who has been unable to board the bus at the stop using the electronic ramp.

"All the kerbs on the ftr route have been raised where practical, to try to ensure that the buses are fully accessible, but council engineers will visit the site to see exactly what the problem is."