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Pickhill man told bus driver 'not allowed' to use disabled ramp
A BUS company has been accused of leaving an 87-year-old disabled man stranded ten miles from home after a driver refused to let his mobility scooter on.
Friends of Edwin Clarke are calling for an investigation, an apology and the repayment of the £15 he was forced to pay for a taxi to get him home.
Mr Clarke, from Pickhill, has been using the Dales and District Service from Thirsk with his mobility scooter for two years.
But this week he says the driver said he was not allowed to leave his seat to press a button and lower a ramp to let Mr Clarke get on to the bus into an area designated for wheelchairs.
“I was so angry and upset, he just said I couldn’t get on and closed the doors,”said Mr Clarke.
“My friend, Malcolm Holmes, who was on the bus, he normally helps me and had a word with the bus driver, but he still wouldn’t let me on, so Malcolm got off the bus as well.
“The next one wasn’t for three hours, so I had no choice but to get a taxi. Luckily, I had enough money to pay for it. I went into town on the John Smiths bus, they were really helpful. But I have been doing this for two years and never had problems before.”
Mr Holmes, who also lives in Pickhill, said he was disgusted.
“I remonstrated with the driver, but he just shrugged his shoulders, so I got off the bus as well. It’s absolutely appalling. We want an investigation, an apology and the taxi fare repaid.”
Dales and District Bus Services, based at Leeming Bar, said no one would be available to comment on the complaints until next week.
North Yorkshire County Council’s Passenger Transport group, which co-ordinates public services, is investigating.
A spokesman said: “It would appear that the level of customer service that we would expect from an operator working on behalf of the county council may have fallen short on this occasion.”