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Dartford woman with dementia not allowed on Fastrack bus for losing her pass

By Jade Edwards

A pensioner is calling for a change in the rules after a friend, who suffers from dementia, was refused a bus ride for losing her pass.

David Hall and pal Margaret were hoping to catch the Fastrack B bus to Dartford town centre on August 4, when they were told the 80-year-old was not allowed on.

The grandmother-of-six had lost her bus pass, which entitles her to free travel, earlier in the week and had visited Dartford Library to buy a new one.

Margaret and David with the receipt
Margaret and David with the receipt

She was told the new pass would not arrive for two to three weeks so kept hold of her receipt and had been using it as proof of payment to travel on other buses.

Mr Hall, 75, said: “The bus driver said she wasn't insured to be on the bus.

"We were supposed to be going back to the library to confirm some details for the new pass.

“I told him she had dementia but he said we had to get off.”

Mr Hall, who met Margaret nine years ago ballroom dancing, said she does not carry any money with her, as she is prone to misplace things.

He travelled to the library alone but on his return saw his friend still waiting at the bus stop, distressed.

Mr Hall said. “Anything could have happened to her. This must happen to other people who have misplaced their bus passes.”

Mr Hall is now calling on Kent County Council to issue temporary passes to people who have misplaced them, so they are still able to get around.

David Hall has called for a change in Fastrack rules after a friend was refused travel
David Hall has called for a change in Fastrack rules after a friend was refused travel

He said: “Margaret doesn’t drive. The only way she can get around is on the bus.

“They should give you a temporary pass.

“It is a blow to the pocket for anyone that loses a bus pass because you have to pay £10 for the replacement and a two to three week wait is a long time.”

A Kent County Council spokesman said the driver was correct to refuse the ride.

He said: “We are sorry to hear Margaret has lost her bus pass but we are unable to supply temporary passes.

“KCC delivers the English National Concessionary scheme in accordance with the statutory terms and in accordance with national guidelines.

“While we ask that no one is left in a vulnerable position, the guidance given to operators is no pass, no travel. The only option is to pay for a ticket.”

He added: “While we endeavour to have replacement passes delivered as quickly as possible, there can be some time to wait as the passes are 'smart' products and have to be produced by a specialist manufacturer.”

There was some good news, however. The replacement pass has since turned up, much quicker than expected.

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