A PENSIONER who was forced off a bus and left to suffer in freezing temperatures because his travel pass had expired just one day earlier, yesterday criticised the driver involved.
Grandfather George Kent, 84, was forced to make an hour-long walk home after being refused a seat on the Stagecoach number 79 service in Sheffield, and said he was abandoned in “excruciating pain”.
The lifelong Sheffield Wednesday fan said he had been to see his team play Bristol City at home to celebrate his 84th birthday.
But Mr Kent said his afternoon was ruined when the bus driver spotted his pass was out of date and told the pensioner he would have to walk home instead.
The journey was only two stops, but Mr Kent, who worked for Sheffield Council for half a century, said the walk took him an hour because the weather was so cold.
He added: “The bus driver said to me, ‘Sorry you will have to get off the bus or pay’.
“I never take money to the football so I had to walk. I came home and just slumped on the settee.
“I know it’s my own fault for going out in the cold to watch Sheffield Wednesday but I’ve been going since 1939, I can’t keep away.
“I look forward to it, it’s all I live for these days.”
According to countrywide travel policy, the driver should have allowed him on the bus regardless of the fact that his pass was not strictly in date.
Mr Kent said: “I didn’t notice my pass had run out, you forget with age sometimes.
“I found out afterwards that I should have had a two-week grace period and I was really annoyed by this.
“I know not all the drivers are the same but what he did was mean, just terrible.
“My family have been really disgusted by what happened. They have been ringing me to see if I’m ok.
“I worked for the council for 50 years and this is what I get in return. It’s very upsetting.”
Stagecoach Yorkshire’s managing director, Paul Lynch, said: “South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive guidelines set out that passengers are permitted a two-week grace period after a senior concessionary pass expires.
“Unfortunately it seems the driver was unaware of these guidelines and we are sorry for the difficulties Mr Kent experienced.”