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Woman was ‘violent and abusive’ to bus driver when told she had to wear face covering

PUBLISHED: 07:42 19 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:28 19 June 2020

A woman became 'violent and abusive' towards a Sanders bus driver after she was told she could not board without wearing a face covering. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A woman became 'violent and abusive' towards a Sanders bus driver after she was told she could not board without wearing a face covering. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2015

A Norfolk bus company has pleaded with passengers to show respect to its employees and follow the rules after a woman “feigned spitting and coughing” on one of its drivers.

Managing director Charles Sanders warned that management would call the police if people repeatedly refused to wear a face covering on their buses. Picture: Mark Bullimore.Managing director Charles Sanders warned that management would call the police if people repeatedly refused to wear a face covering on their buses. Picture: Mark Bullimore.

Management at Sanders Coaches were forced to call the police on Tuesday, June 16, after a passenger was “violent and abusive” to the driver of a bus she wanted to board in Buxton, near Aylsham.

The woman was not wearing a face covering – it is currently required by law on all forms of public transport in England and Wales – and was told by the driver that she would not be allowed to board the bus unless she was wearing one.

General manager Richard Pengelly said the woman claimed she was unaware of the rule, which came into force on Monday, and became angry when she was told she would not be permitted to board the bus.

Police were called after the woman pretended to spit and cough on the driver.

Mr Pengelly said: “It’s completely unacceptable. All that we ask is that people follow the rules, which are clear.

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“Anyone can make a face covering out of pretty much anything, even just a scarf or something. We have to follow the rules. The great majority of people have worn masks – as usual it’s just one person ruining it for the rest.”

The firm’s managing director, Charles Sanders, warned last week that management would call the police if someone were to “continue to refuse to wear a face covering and not get off the bus”.

The unnamed driver involved has chosen not to press charges against the woman, though Mr Pengelly said that he “would have if it were me”.

Following the incident, Sanders took to social media to ask people to remind people to follow the rules.

“BE NICE TO OUR DRIVERS,” the post read.

“The mandatory wearing of face coverings on ALL public transport is Government legislation, and our drivers are having to follow this ruling.

“Please be polite to the driver when you board. Thank you.”

Norfolk Police have been contacted for comment.


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