KING’S LYNN: Teenager left stranded as 10p short of bus fare
A teenager says she was forced to wait 45 minutes alone in the dark after a bus driver refused to let her on as she was 10p short of the fare.
Jessica Smith, 18, is angry that she was left stranded at a bus stop in South Lynn during the recent snowy weather as she did not have the full £1.20 ticket money.
She hoped to catch the 505 Norfolk Green service from Wisbech Road to her home in Terrington St Clement at 5.30pm on January 15.
Miss Smith said she thought she had the right change.
But the driver refused to let her on board as she only had £1.10.
Miss Smith, who uses the bus regularly, then had to wait 45 minutes in the bus shelter for a friend to take her home.
She said: “I thought it was disgusting.
“I asked if he could let me off this once but he said no.
“I did ask a boy behind me if he had 10p but he said no.
“I don’t think it would have hurt for the driver to lend me 10p instead of leaving me stranded.
“The bus was packed so it was humiliating to be chucked off.
“I was quite nervous.”
Operations manager for Norfolk Green Richard Pengelly said the company had not put up its fares for three years and that the driver would have had to pay the 10p.
Mr Pengelly said that the current ticket machines do not allow drivers to alter fares once the journey has been inputted.
Mr Pengelly said: “If the girl is a regular traveller on the buses she knows what the fare is.
“The 10p comes out of the driver’s pocket. He has to pay for that.
“It is not nice but where do you draw the line?
“Last year we probably carried about 500 children for free as they didn’t have the fare and we have obtained names and addresses for their parents to pay us when convenient. Not one of those 500 children has sent the money.
“We could have written to them asking for it but we would have to spend 60p on a stamp to get a £1.30 fare.”
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Weather for King's Lynn
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North west