Bus ‘dragged’ frail woman along road

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A FRAIL Sheffield woman was dragged along by a bus when the doors closed on her walking stick after a row with the driver.

Beverley Ash, aged 60, of Sturton Road, Burngreave, who suffers from osteoarthritis, was holding on to the stick when the bus set off.

It pulled her along for seven yards before the driver realised and opened the doors to release the stick.

The incident, on Scott Road, Burngreave, which involved a number 20 bus operated by First, followed an altercation between Beverley, a retired auxiliary nurse who used to work at the Northern General and Middlewood hospitals, and the woman bus driver.

Beverley said the bus hadn’t pulled into the kerb so she walked out and put her stick on the step to haul herself on board.

She said the driver told her “why didn’t you ask me to lower the step?”

Beverley replied: “I didn’t think I should have to.”

Beverley claims the driver shut the doors on her before she could get on board and started to drive off with her stick trapped between the doors.

She said: “I was holding on to the stick to make sure I didn’t fall over. The bus stopped at a road hump and the driver opened the door to let my stick fall out. I stumbled but didn’t fall over. Luckily, I was unhurt.

“The way I was treated was just terrible. The driver should not be working serving the public with such an attitude. I suffer from osteoarthritis and the incident has left me frightened to go out and catch the bus.”

Beverley said she is considering suing First.

A First spokesman said: “We are sorry to hear about Mrs Ash’s experience while trying to board one of our buses in South Yorkshire.

“We have carried out a full investigation into this matter, which has included speaking to the driver in question.

“While our findings differ a little in content from what Mrs Ash is alleging, we do believe an incident, which could have been avoided, has taken place. Therefore we will be taking steps to ensure this type of incident does not happen again.

“This includes speaking to the driver in question, as well as the rest of our drivers, to ensure they adhere to the highest standards of professional driving when picking up and dropping off all our passengers, but particularly the elderly and disabled passengers.

“We have been in touch with Mrs Ash and offered our apologies.”