BUS ROW: OAP who for­got his pass walks 2 hours home

Process to safe­guard vul­ner­a­ble pas­sen­gers not fol­lowed

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Zoe Drewett zoe.drewett@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

AN 87-YEAR-OLD man who for­got his bus pass was forced to walk for two hours in the cold after a driver wouldn’t al­low him on board.

Martin Mad­den, of Wil­stone Close, Hayes, was re­fused ac­cess to his bus home from church when he ac­ci­den­tally left his pass at home.

He usu­ally makes his weekly jour­ney to and from The Ro­man Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Visi­ta­tion in Green­ford on the E6 bus with­out prob­lem.

But on Sun­day, De­cem­ber 28, he left home with­out his free­dom pass, which al­lows pen­sion­ers to use buses for free.

Not want­ing to be late for church he asked his first bus driver whether he could ride with­out it just this once.

The first driver told him it was not a prob­lem, but on his re­turn jour­ney, he was told he could not ride.

His daugh­ter Michelle Web­ster de­scribed the in­ci­dent as ‘dis­grace­ful’.

“It is not as though it is some young per­son try­ing to get a free ride – he is quite clearly an OAP, so he is clearly el­i­gi­ble for free travel any­way, but the driver still wouldn’t let him on,” she said.

“He even of­fered to pay for the jour­ney – but buses now don’t have any way of tak­ing cash.

“I just thought ‘how can any­one be so cruel?’ It was a freez­ing cold morn­ing, and he was left to walk home.”

Mrs Web­ster, who lives in Ick­en­ham, said her dad then made a two hour jour­ney home on foot.

“He thought he knew a short­cut but he ended up tak­ing a wrong turn­ing and got lost. It took him two hours to get to his house.

“He re­ally suf­fers with his feet and he couldn’t walk the next day be­cause of it. It is a bus jour­ney he takes ev­ery sin­gle Sun­day and I can’t un­der­stand why the driver couldn’t make this one al­lowance,” she said.

She made a com­plaint to Trans­port for London (TFL), who she claims told her that the decision whether to let some­one board the bus with­out a pass is left to the driver’s dis­cre­tion.

Ken David­son, TFL’s head of bus op­er­a­tions, said: “I’m very sorry to hear of this pas­sen­ger’s ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We have an es­tab­lished process which safe­guards vul­ner­a­ble pas­sen­gers and it seems th­ese were not fol­lowed on this oc­ca­sion.

“Metroline, the company which op­er­ates the E6 bus route, has been made aware of this in­ci­dent and will be in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cir­cum­stances.”

RE­FUSED: Martin Mad­den aged 87 was not al­lowed to board his bus in Hayes be­cause he for­got his bus pass. It took him two hours to get home. He is pc­tured with his daugh­ter Michelle Web­ster

Photo by Katie Lamb www.buyapho­totms.co.uk WL150032

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