Arthritic Dereham mother left in tears after bus driver refuses a ride to her children, because she did not have their passes on her
- Credit: IAN BURT
A bus company boss has admitted that a driver could have been more sympathetic, after an arthritic mother was left in tears after an altercation.
Heather Rumble claims she was crying after a bus driver refused her children a ride because she did not have their passes on her, although she had her own.
She and her two children were finally allowed to travel on the Konect Bus No 8 service after a young woman paid for the children's fares.
Ironically, the 42-year-old used to be a Konect Bus driver and the operations manager she complained to afterwards was a former colleague.
A spokesman for Konect Bus said that the driver had followed the rules by refusing to let the children travel without passes. But he said that, maybe, he could have been more sympathetic.
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It happened in School Lane, near Toftwood Infants' School in Dereham, at about 4.10pm on Wednesday, June 21.
Mrs Rumble, who lives on the Toftwood estate, said: 'I only needed to get to Hillfields to my mum's which was four stops.
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'I lost my keys at my daughter's school, so I couldn't get into my car to drive the 0.75mile trip home.
'I physically cannot walk that far so decided to get the bus. As my husband works for First bus we have staff passes, which are valid on Konect Bus services.
'I had mine in my purse but I didn't have my kids' passes on me.
'I explained my situation to the bus driver and asked if he would let my girls, Georgia, 11, and Emma, seven, get on the bus for four stops. He said no.
'I explained that I'd lost my keys and couldn't get home, and that I am physically disabled. He told me 'not my problem'.
'By this time I'm in tears, begging him to allow us to travel. He told me not to shout at him. I said 'I'm not shouting, I'm upset and in pain'. To which he told me again 'not my problem'.
'At this point a lovely young lady came to my assistance and paid for my children as I had no cash. I was humiliated as I was sat, crying on the bus.'
Mrs Rumble said she suffers with arthritis in her spine, hip, knees and ankles and sometimes has to use a walking stick.
Konect Bus operations manager Steven Royal said: 'We have taken it up with the driver. As far as I'm concerned it's been dealt with. The driver did the right thing, although he may have handled it a bit more sympathetically.'
Do you think the bus driver should have let the children ride for free? Email firstname.lastname@example.org