Falkirk bus firm apology after ticket refusal leads to elderly passengers walking miles

Three pals – including an 80-year-old man – were forced to walk over two miles in blazing hot weather after a First Bus driver refused to let one of them on board.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 10:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 11:03 am

George Herriott (80), from Hallglen, and his two friends – James, who is in his late 70s, and David, who is middle aged – got on the number 38 service at the bus station near Asda, in Newmarket Street, Falkirk on Wednesday, September 8, when the temperatures soared into the high 20s.

Travelling to Linlithgow Bridge, George and James used their bus passes, while David bought what he thought was a valid return ticket.

After enjoying their visit, the friends attempted to get on another 38 service at the Linlithgow Bridge stop at around 3:00pm to head back to Falkirk.

The three pals were forced to walk four miles in the blazing heat after one of them was refused access to the bus

David was refused access to the bus, and George and James, angry at this treatment and looking to support their friend, got off and proceeded to walk over two miles in scorching hot conditions with him to Lathallan Roundabout, outside Polmont, where they were able to catch another bus.

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Karen Herriott (45) was so angry after her dad told her what had happened she went straight down to the Newmarket Street bus station.

"I told my dad he should have called me, I could have come and picked them up. I was raging – I went to talk to one of the drivers and he told me he couldn’t understand why the driver hadn’t allowed David on.

"He was willing to pay the couple of extra pounds, but he was told his ticket was not valid and told to get off the bus.”

Apologising for his actions, First Bus – First Midland – stated the driver in question was “new to the business”.

Jason Hackett, First Larbert depot operations manager, said: “I can confirm the driver of the return journey is new to the business and made an error by failing to offer an alternative ticket option at Linlithgow Bridge on this occasion.

“We’ve taken action to address the issue with the driver through additional support and training. I would like to apologise to Mr Herriott and his friends for any inconvenience they experienced at the time and assure them that this was an isolated incident.”

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