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Climate scientist told to get off bus despite having valid ticket

PUBLISHED: 13:30 09 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:22 09 July 2019

Jeff Price, a UEA scientist climate, was refused travel on a First Bus with a valid ticket. Supplied by: Jeff Price

Jeff Price, a UEA scientist climate, was refused travel on a First Bus with a valid ticket. Supplied by: Jeff Price

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A bus operator has apologised after a climate scientist was refused travel despite having a valid ticket.

Climate scientist was refused travel on a First bus even though he had a valid ticket. Picture: ANTONY KELLYClimate scientist was refused travel on a First bus even though he had a valid ticket. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Jeff Price, who works at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia (UEA), wanted to travel on the number 11 bus from UEA to Norwich city centre earlier this month.

He had purchased a Fusion ticket, created by Norfolk County Council, which allows passengers to travel with four different bus companies - including First.

However, Mr Price was told by a First bus driver that he would not accept the ticket.

Despite asking the bus driver to contact a superior to resolve the issue, the driver refused and Mr Price was made to leave the bus.

Mr Price later called a supervisor at First, who confirmed that Fusion tickets are valid on First buses, but had to wait an hour to get home.

Mr Price said: "To reduce my carbon footprint I travel by bus rather than car as much as I am able.

"However, the more inconvenient the bus companies make it to travel the more unlikely it is that people will take the bus.

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"More people then end up driving, pushing up emissions, increasing other air pollutants and increasing congestion in the area."

Fusion tickets are an initiative designed with the environment in mind. The aim is to encourage people to use public transport networks to save the environment.

As a result, they are valid on four major Norfolk bus companies - First, Konectbus, Sanders and Simonds.

The tickets are also valid for all routes in the Fusion zone, which covers the UEA and Norwich city centre.

Mr Price added: "At a time when the impacts of climate change are becoming more pronounced, public transport companies need to step up."

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: "Fusion is a multi-operator ticket meaning that a person can use it on different bus operators services.

"There has clearly been a misunderstanding here which we will look into when we receive some specifics relating to the journey being taken.

"I apologise for the inconvenience caused to the customer concerned at the time of the event."

For more information on Fusion tickets visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/public-transport/buses/fusion

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