Bus company investigating after 62 year old woman ‘told to leave’ evening service

Thelma Wilkinson, who was told to get off the bus home from Harrogate to Knaresborough. Picture: Adrian Murray. (1304161AM1)
Thelma Wilkinson, who was told to get off the bus home from Harrogate to Knaresborough. Picture: Adrian Murray. (1304161AM1)

A 62 year old Knaresborough woman has spoken of her distress after being thrown off the bus home from Harrogate late one evening.

Pensioner Thelma Wilkinson, from the Halfpenny Lane area of Knaresborough, was forced to leave the Transdev bus from Harrogate to Knaresborough at around 9pm on Wednesday, April 10 when she was on her way from after her weekly visit to son Matthew in Harrogate.

Mrs Wilkinson said:

“It was just horrendous, I had done nothing whatsoever to deserve it.”

The row began when Mrs Wilkinson got on the bus as normal at Harrogate bus station, began to chat to other passengers about the services – and the current “bus wars” between Transdev and rivals Connexions.

She complained that the bus was late in leaving, Mrs Wilkinson said, but was quickly corrected by a passenger who reminded her of the different weekday and Sunday services.

“The driver then joined the conversation and leant past the barrier and shouted, in what I thought was a very aggressive manner, that the bus left at 21:10.

“I apologized for my mistake, but I also had to inform her that she didn’t need to speak to me with such aggression. She then said to me that all I had done since boarding was ‘moan moan moan’.”

The journey continued without incident until Mrs Wilkinson, distracted by texting her son about the row, realised she had missed her stop and arrived back in Harrogate.

Minutes later, she found the driver and an inspector demanding she leave the bus – or face police.

Fellow passengers sprang to Mrs Wilkinson’s defence, but the 62-year-old was still marched from the bus onto another waiting service for her journey home.

Horrified by the ordeal, Mrs Wilkinson said she cannot understand why she was treated in this way.

“I have been on buses when the driver has been abused by drunks, but I have never seen anyone thrown off,” she added.

A spokesman for Transdev said an investigation into the incident is still going on, but confirmed both members of staff are still at work.