Bus company pays after road works strand a disabled man

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A BUS company has paid a disabled man’s taxi fare after a road closure left him stranded.

The Stephensons bus company offered Geoff Fisher, of Yeomanry Yard, Bury St Edmunds, a £20 goodwill gesture to pay for the taxi he had to get because the bus could not get to his stop in Red Lodge.

Mr Fisher, 51, is on disability benefits because he has a heart condition and a walking problem so he has to walk with a stick. He had decided to visit a friend in Red Lodge then another in Risby who had offered to then drive him home.

But having been dropped off by the number 17 bus at Harebells Road in the morning, he was at the stop at 1.15pm to make sure he would catch the 1.32pm bus. When it did not arrive he phoned Stephensons who suggested he go to Warren Road to catch a Mildenhall bus.

But Mr Fisher got in sight of Warren Road as the bus left, so he called a taxi.

He wrote to the bus company and they called him. Mr Fisher said: “They said they couldn’t pay for the taxi but offered me a month’s free travel. I’m on benefits and have got a card, so that’s worthless to me, I just want the taxi fare. ”

Stephensons’ managing director Bill Hiron said Hundred Acre Road had been closed by roadworks they had not been warned of. “We could have done nothing in the circumstances,” he said. “If you’ve got a road closure for a week you can keep people informed, but that was open in the morning then closed again.

“Generally’ the local authority would let us know, but some of the roads round there haven’t been adopted yet, so that doesn’t help. They seem to think it just means a few motorist going another way.

“We’ll pay his taxi fare as a gesture of goodwill, but it wasn’t a problem of our making.”