Paint pensioner 'refused bus ride'
Published 13/02/2010 | 16:09
A pensioner was left 10 miles from home after being refused a bus ride because he was carrying a can of paint, it was claimed.
Brian Wakley said he was stopped from taking the 1B Bournemouth to Poole Transdev Yellow bus as the non-toxic green fence paint breached regulations.
The retired officer worker was told to leave the bus by the driver because the £3.75 tin was a "banned substance", he said. Rather than pay more than £20 for a taxi after the episode on Thursday, Mr Wakley called a friend to take him home to Sandford, near Wareham.
Afterwards he called the company and it confirmed its policy.
Mr Wakley, who is over 65, said: "It's absolutely diabolical. Millions of people rely on public transport take home things like paint and DIY equipment. It was a five-litre sealed plastic pot. I know it was innocuous, because I took the liberty of contacting the manufacturer.
"The driver said to me, 'I'm sorry you can't come aboard because you are carrying a banned substance'. I said, 'It's a can of paint'. He said it was against regulations."
He added: "The other passengers were disgusted.
"Apparently the drivers can use their discretion. No one uses their common sense any more - it all jobsworths and rules and regulations. You see yobs on buses eff-ing and blinding and yet here I am, a pensioner, carrying some paint. It makes me feel like my human rights have been violated."
Yellow Bus said that, as the service stops at Poole, Mr Wakley would have needed a second bus to complete his journey in any case. Ed Wills, Yellow Buses' Head of Operations, said the company never willingly turned away passengers but had to abide the Conditions of Carriage rules
He said: "I recognise that the issue of carrying paint on buses is something some people may think is a minor issue but, unfortunately, over the years we have experienced instances of paint being accidentally dropped by passengers and spilling over the floor, onto seats and splashing other passengers. Regretfully even a small tin of paint that is dropped can cause a considerable mess and result in the bus being withdrawn from service whilst it is cleaned or seats replaced."