A BUS driver has been disciplined after offering to give a lone female passenger a lift home in his car.
The passenger, who does not want to be identified, was travelling from North End to Fareham on the new 3A bus route.
But she was left alone on it after it made its stops in Paulsgrove.
‘It was just me on it,’ she said.
‘And then we were heading towards Fareham and the driver pulled over into a layby near Cams Hall, one that isn’t used very much at all.
‘He then got out of his cab, came into the bus and sat down in the seat in front of me.
‘I didn’t know what to do.’
The passenger said the driver told her he needed to get back to the depot quickly, and needed to head straight there rather than finish his route.
She added: ‘He said if I came back with him he’d give me a lift home in his car.
‘I said no and I stayed on the bus all the way to Fareham bus station.
‘I didn’t want to get off at my stop and I didn’t want to walk past him. I didn’t feel safe.
‘I just want to warn other women not to travel alone.’
In a statement First Bus general manager for Hampshire and Dorset, Dervla McKay, apologised, and said all drivers are checked with the Criminal Records Bureau.
She added: ‘The driver was spoken to and the appropriate disciplinary action has since been taken.
‘We completely understand that this was an unsettling experience for [the passenger] though, and we fully accept that the driver acted improperly on this occasion.
‘We are, however, assured that there was no malicious intent on the part of the driver.
‘Misguided as it was the driver believed that he was helping the customer; his service was running late and he was, wrongly, trying to cut the journey short but also make sure that the customer got to her destination.
‘Having been presented with the facts he accepts that his behaviour was entirely wrong.
‘We have spoken directly to the family of [the passenger involved] and offered our sincere apologies for what happened.’