A HEAVILY pregnant woman and her wheelchair-bound mother have demanded an apology after a bus driver left them stranded in Preston city centre in pouring rain.
Alice May Foleher, 20, and mum Anne Sutton, claim the Stagecoach driver’s attitude was “disgusting” after he refused to let them board because passengers were standing in the disabled space.
And when they went to complain at the main bus station, they were also given the cold shoulder by an inspector who “just couldn’t care less”.
“I couldn’t believe how they were, especially the driver,” said Alice. “He refused to move people out of the disabled space, and when we complained, he said: ‘It’s my bus and I decide who gets on.’
“He said wheelchairs didn’t have priority – but I know they do. It was an appalling way to behave.”
The women say they had been standing at a bus stop in Fishergate for 45 minutes waiting for the No 3 Penwortham service when the bus finally showed up.
“We’d been shopping for stuff for the baby and it was chucking it down,” said Alice, who lives in Kingsfold.
“Mum has been having chemotherapy and she is more prone to infection.
“She is now full of a cold.
“Two buses didn’t turn up, so when the third one did arrive it was pretty full.
“He let a couple of people on and when it came to our turn, he said there wasn’t room.
“I asked him if he’d move the people who were standing in the disabled space so we could get on and he refused because he said Mum wasn’t a priority.
“His attitude was disgusting.
“Then he just slammed the doors and drove off.
“I pushed Mum round to the bus station and the inspector in the office didn’t seem interested.
“When I told him what had gone on he looked at my stomach and said: ‘ Catch your breath love or you’ll do yourself an injury.’ He accepted wheelchairs did have priority, but he didn’t apologise and just told us to wait for the next bus.
“The whole experience has left Mum so shaken up she doesn’t want to go into town any more.”
A spokesman for Stagecoach said: “Complaints of this nature are taken extremely seriously and are processed in accordance with Stagecoach’s official procedure.
“We can confirm that we received a customer complaint on Monday and our team is working to ascertain exactly what happened.
“We have been in touch with the customer to reassure her that the event is being investigated.”