Parents are outraged over the extreme treatment their teenaged children experienced from a Manchester bus company. Some parents are claiming the had to travel nearly eight miles to get their children out of harms way.
A father claims his daughter was ‘abandoned’ at the side of the road by a bus driver at 11pm after he refused to let her pay a child fare because her passport was ‘not valid proof of age’.
Gregory Donovan says his daughter Lili, 15, was told to ‘get off the f****** bus’ by the driver on a First Manchester bus from Middleton to Bury.
He claims that he and other parents had to travel from Blackley to Bury to pick up Lili and her friends, in the ‘cold and dark’.
Mr Donovan said his daughter was forced to pay the full adult fare several times when travelling home on the bus, even though she had shown her school bus pass.
One driver refused her passport, claiming that the only valid ID that is accepted for 11-16 year-olds’ fares is the ‘igo’ travel pass, which costs £10.
Her father said the night the driver swore at his daughter was the final straw.
He said: ‘The idea that all children aged 11 to 16 must carry an ”igo” is ridiculous, because it does not prove your identity.
‘In black and white, in the terms and conditions, it states that another form of ID may be required alongside an ‘igo’, which totally undermines its authority.
‘To me, this ”igo” card is futile, it’s nothing more than a money-making scam.
‘The main issue for me is that my daughter was abandoned on the side of the road at 11pm.
‘The driver embarrassed her and he intimidated her. Offering to reimburse the fares is not a gesture of goodwill, because she should never have been charged the adult fare in the first place.’
First Manchester said it had conducted an ‘internal investigation’ into Mr Donovan’s claims about the driver’s alleged behaviour – although the firm did not reveal the outcome.
The company has offered to reimburse the difference on all occasions where Lili had to pay the adult fare.
The ‘igo’ travel passes are sold by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
A spokesman for First Manchester said: ‘As confirmed in conversation between the customer and our customer service centre, the only proof of age that can be accepted in this instance would be an ‘igo’ card which, is in line with the terms set out by TfGM.
‘As a gesture of goodwill, we have offered to pay the difference between the fares incurred by the customer.
‘In terms of comments relating to the driver, I can confirm that our depot team conducted an internal investigation with a view to addressing any potential concerns in line with our company procedures.’