BUS ROW: OAP who forgot his pass walks 2 hours home
Process to safeguard vulnerable passengers not followed
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
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