Four-year-old’s Peppa Pig scooter branded a ‘weapon’ by bus driver
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
To the untrained eye, it is a harmless child's toy, featuring a cult cartoon hero.
But today this pink, plastic Peppa Pig scooter, treasured by little Autumn Keeley, four, stands accused of being a weapon.
Autumn's mother has claimed her daughter was refused entry onto a bus in Thetford after its driver made the accusation.
But Coach Services, the bus company in Thetford which runs the T3 service, denied she was barred from the bus and said the driver was explaining the safety aspects of having the scooter on board.
Autumn and mum Holly Chapman, 28, from Brandon, were waiting for a bus on Croxton Road in the town after a day in the park.
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But when it came to boarding the T3 bus on Thursday, January 3, Miss Chapman said she was shocked by a conversation with the driver.
She said: 'He took the first person on and she had a trolley.
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'Autumn then got on and he looked at me and said 'we have got a problem'.
'I said 'oh, what's wrong?' and he said he couldn't let us on because she has a scooter and it is classed as a weapon.
'I said 'are you joking?' and he said 'no, I'm serious'.
'A four-year-old has been branded as holding a weapon. It is society gone mad.
'My little girl now thinks that we are not welcome on the bus.'
Miss Chapman said she was then told the scooter could cause a hazard to other people on the bus, despite the fact the mum and daughter were allowed on another bus owned by the same company earlier in the day.
After a 10-minute discussion with the bus driver, Miss Chapman said they were allowed to board and they were taken back to the Thetford interchange.
Miss Chapman said: 'One employee said I should review my parenting and I should leave the scooter on the playground, not on the bus, and I said she was still living in the 1930s.'
A spokesman for Coach Services denied Miss Chapman had been stopped from boarding, and said it was highly unlikely a comment was made about her parenting by a company employee.
He said: 'The driver probably used the wrong terminology by calling it a weapon.
'He asked her to keep the scooter in a seated area so it doesn't become a hazard in an emergency situation as it could injure passengers.
'We try as much as possible to accommodate all as safely as possible.'