Blind couple left stranded in Godmanchester by bus driver

A BUS driver left an elderly blind couple and their partially-sighted son stranded after refusing to stop and let them on.

A BUS driver left an elderly blind couple, their two guide dogs and their partially-sighted son at the roadside after refusing to stop and let them on the bus.

Philip and Betty Storey, of Chadley Street, Godmanchester, had been waiting for the bus in Post Street, so they could go to a dentist’s appointment in Huntingdon.

Their son Paul, 47, had boarded the bus at an earlier stop and telephoned them to say he was on his way.

But the bus approached his parents, Mr Storey rang the on-board bell to request the driver to pick them up.

However, he said despite ringing four times, the bus driver ignored the bell and Mr Storey Snr’s attempts to flag the bus down with his cane, and drove past the elderly couple.

He eventually stopped some 70m past the collection point, after Mr Storey walked up the bus and asked the driver to stop.

Most Read

The driver claimed not to have the heard the bell or seen the Storeys waiting.

Mr Storey Jnr asked the bus driver to wait while he went to help his parents board the bus but instead the driver drove off.

Mr Storey Snr, 70, who has been blind since birth, said: “We don’t expect privileges but, quite honestly, if the driver didn’t see me waving my white stick he needs the blind registry more than I do. I don’t want to cause trouble for anybody but if we had been on our own anything could have happened.”

Mrs Storey, 77, who has also been blind since birth, said: “The idea was that Paul would come to the bus door and help us get on. Paul rang the bell four times and the driver didn’t stop. He went up to the front and asked the driver to stop and would he please wait while he came to get us. We were hurrying to catch the bus when Paul said ‘Oh my God, he’s driven away!’

“Our other son, Robert, was incensed. He worries about his dad because he had a triple heart bypass last year. He was so angry.

“We got home and rang the Huntingdonshire Blind Society because we didn’t know the number for Whippet. Tracy there rang Whippet on our behalf but they weren’t at all bothered and there was no apology.

“Philip decided he would ring again. The manager wasn’t available so he spoke to his cousin, who was apologetic and said he would speak to the driver.

“We can’t believe it really. Even if we had been standing there without our canes the driver should’ve stopped because there were people waiting.”

Fred Aston, transport manager for Whippet Coaches, said: “This is not good at all. It’s not good for them, for us or anybody. It shouldn’t have happened, especially to people with disabilities when this is their only way of getting around.

“The bus driver identified is a part-time driver and needs to be seen by us. When he is seen, action will be taken.

“I can only offer my sincere apologies to the family involved.”