Almost two weeks ago, my mum had a horrible experience on the number 74 bus heading towards Baker Street. She was waiting for a bus at Park Lane – sometimes the traffic is so heavy that buses don’t always stop there unless someone is getting off – but she spotted the 74 and managed to stop it. As she got on, the bus driver muttered something which she ignored. Instead she thanked him for stopping.
As the bus headed down Gloucester Place, she pressed the bell. She wanted to get off the bus at Dorset Street as that’s the last stop on Gloucester Place before it turns on to Baker Street. At this point, she was on the bus with just another woman and a man who was sitting right at the back. The bus driver ignored the bell and moved into the far right lane. Once he was in the right lane, he stopped the bus, opened the door and told my mum to ‘Get out’. She said she wouldn’t – there was traffic coming in on the left and it wasn’t safe. He got out of his driver’s seat and told her and the other female passenger to get off the bus. As he approached them, he saw the male passenger sitting at the back watching what was happening. He promptly shut up, turned around and got back into his seat and continued driving to Baker Street Station.
When I got home from work, my mum told me what had happened. I was outraged – his threatening behaviour was completely unacceptable! We drafted a letter of complaint to London Transport and filled in the online complaint form – it was very detailed and fortunately Mum remembered what the driver looked like as he had a white plaster up one of his nostrils! Also, because he’d left his seat, she knew exactly how tall he was. As I pressed the ‘send’ button, I wondered if we’d ever hear back from them.
Three days ago, Mum received an email from someone at London Transport saying that they were shocked at the driver’s behaviour, that it was a serious incident, and that they’d managed to identify him and dealt with him appropriately. I don’t know what that means – they said that because it was a personnel matter it was confidential. But at least they responded – and sooner than we thought they would.
If you ever experience similar incidents on the bus or Tube, I’d strongly advise you to complain. The more people there are that complain, the sooner something will be done about it. There’s no point suffering in silence!