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Mutiny on the buses over travel restrictions
10:50am Friday 13th July 2012 in News
NETWORK Warrington has apologised to a 20-year-old passenger with Down’s Syndrome who was left standing at a bus stop because he was travelling three minutes earlier than his pass allows.
Oliver Thomason tried to use the 9.27am Service 3 bus from Monmouth Close, Woolston, on June 20.
He holds a disabled pass that allows travel from 9.30am and uses the service three days a week to get to work in the cafe at The Gateway, on Sankey Street.
After boarding with other passengers he was told to get off the bus which was then driven away.
Mum Fiona, aged 51, from Woolston, complained to bosses at Network Warrington.
She said: “I spoke to the bus company who said that it would be sorted and should not be happening.
“I’m not looking to cause trouble I’m just looking after my son’s safety.
“I really don’t want it escalating, him being left and something happening to him.”
Following the incident in June, Mark Harrison, operations co-ordinator, sent a written apology to Mrs Thomason.
It read: ‘I was dismayed that our driver had failed to pick your son up. I have arranged for CCTV footage to be recovered, the driver has been spoken to and dealt with in accordance with company policy.’ But the Green Lane School teaching assistant says it is the third time Oliver has been barred from the bus in 18 months. Each time an apology was given. Now she wants assurances he will be allowed to travel.
David Squire, managing director of Network Warrington, said: "There are two types of disabled pass, one that gives travel all day and one for post-0930 only, her son clearly has the latter.
"The passes are issued by the local authorities (not ourselves) and we do not set the time rules.
"However, the traffic manager has told our drivers to exercise discretion for the sake of a couple of minutes and we have re-iterated that instruction.
"I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused."