A frail pensioner with arthritis and a heart problem was forced to walk five miles home in the rain after being booted off a bus by the woman driver – because her pass was faded.
Retired nurse Sandra Cole, 68, endured a three-and-a-half-hour trek after the driver told her the bus pass was too worn to check her ID.
Shockingly, the heartless driver even confiscated the pass before ordering the pensioner off the X17 Stagecoach bus near Kenilworth, Warks., at 2pm last Tuesday afternoon . The remote rural route means there are no other buses she could have easily taken.
Sandra, who is a full time carer for her wheelchair-bound husband Hugh, 70, after he suffered a stroke five years ago, hobbled five miles back to her home in Coventry.
Yesterday Sandra, a retired nurse, said: “All I wanted was a nice day out, a bit of a break, and I didn’t mean to be long.
“But the driver, who was a blonde woman just snatched my pass out of my hand and said ‘I can’t accept that’ and told me to pay the £3 fare.
“I had no money on me and no phone to get a lift so I had to walk. It was raining and I was in pain.
“The driver told me three times I had to get off the bus, I tried to explain I had health problems but she didn’t care and just snapped at me saying she wouldn’t accept my pass.
“I couldn’t believe I was being treated in this way, I have used the bus for three years but the driver was adamant that I had to walk.
“She was heartless. It was the way she said it wasn’t her problem when I told her I’d have to walk five miles.
“It was so humiliating and I felt extreme anger towards the bus driver. I felt intimidated, like I’d been abandoned.
“I’ve had that pass for three years and never had any problems. I’d even used the pass earlier that day. I can’t let this happen to anyone else.
“What if she does this to someone more frail than me? Someone who can barely walk, or a child.”
Sandra’s son Alistair, 34, a politics teacher in London, lodged a complaint with Stagecoach who apologised for the blunder.
He said: “Mum was in tears when she rang me and told me what happened. I was furious, how could a bus driver do this to a pensioner with health problems.
“Her arthritis is bad and she suffers from a missed heart beat which can cause dizzy spells for her yet she was still forced to walk home.”
A Stagecoach spokesman said: “We are very sorry to hear of Mrs Cole’s experience in using our bus service.
“While the driver was correct in removing a concessionary pass which was totally illegible, with the photo and name rubbed off, it is our policy to still carry the passenger to their intended destination.
“We will be investigating this further and taking any appropriate action necessary.”