Mum-to-be’s 5p bus blues

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BUS chiefs have launched an investigation after a heavily pregnant woman was refused travel because she had ‘too many 5p pieces’.

Kelly Piercey was trying to catch the 301 bus outside the Midland Hotel pub in Hemel Hempstead when the driver told her he would not accept the £3.90 fare because 90p of it was in 5p coins.

Kelly, who is six months pregnant, had to walk into town in heavy rain to get more money, leaving her soaked and freezing.

She said: “The driver rudely said: ‘I’m not taking more than 50p worth of 5p.’ I asked him: ‘Does this mean you won’t let me travel?’ He just answered ‘Yes’ and started the ignition.

“At this point I was so shocked that I got off and he drove away. The rain got harder and I was left in the bus stop, which is open, to get absolutely drenched and freezing cold.”

Kelly, who works as a teacher, was trying to get to St Albans on Saturday (June 30).

She said: “At the best of times this would have been unacceptable as 5p is still legal tender, but to refuse travel to a woman who is obviously heavily pregnant and throw her off the bus into pouring rain when she actually had the fare is absolutely disgusting.”

In a statement Arriva said: “We would like to offer our most sincere apologies to Miss Piercey for the way she was treated when trying to travel on one of our bus services between Hemel Hempstead and St Albans.

“The driver has been identified and a formal investigation will take place. We would not expect our drivers to treat anyone in this manner, and especially someone who is clearly heavily pregnant. Our customer services team will be in contact with Miss Piercey directly.”