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Elderly woman refused bus journey after joke with driver

PUBLISHED: 15:43 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:39 27 November 2019

Joyce Polis, 89, upset after a bus driver refused to drive her on the bus, after she made a joke. With her is her daughter, Liz. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Joyce Polis, 89, upset after a bus driver refused to drive her on the bus, after she made a joke. With her is her daughter, Liz. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

An 89-year-old was forced to walk home after being refused a bus journey - after her driver took a joke she made the wrong way.

Joyce Polis, 89, upset after a bus driver refused to drive her on the bus, after she made a joke. With her is her daughter, Liz. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJoyce Polis, 89, upset after a bus driver refused to drive her on the bus, after she made a joke. With her is her daughter, Liz. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Joyce Polis had travelled to Anglia Square on Sunday to visit Roy's and attempted to take the number 11 bus home after completing her shopping.

On boarding the First bus, which takes her to her home on Stacy Road, she made a joke to the bus driver as she presented her fare.

She said: "You look a little down, did you miss your lunch?"

However, the driver of the bus took offence to the comment and refused to accept her money, ordering her to get off the bus before leaving.

Mrs Polis, who does not own a senior citizen's bus pass, was then left with the choice between waiting half an hour for the next service and walking home.

Liz Polis, her daughter, said: "I was very angry when she told me what had happened and she was visibly upset. I think it's disgusting, she ended up walking home.

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"I know it doesn't sound too far, but she is 89 and had her shopping with her. She was exhausted by the time she got home."

Ms Polis said the incident played on her mother's mind all evening and as a result she had an awful night's sleep.

Ms Polis added: "I honestly could not believe what had happened, particularly to somebody her age. For all the bus driver knew, she could have been a dementia patient who can only remember how to get home via the bus.

"I phoned First the day after and the person I spoke to couldn't believe it either and was very apologetic. However, it doesn't change what happened.

"She meant no harm by what she said but the driver blew it completely out of proportion."

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: "There has clearly been a misunderstanding been the customer and our driver, which we will look into based on the information provided to us.

"I would like to apologise to the lady concerned for any inconvenience caused on the day."

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