I'm writing this now whilst it is fresh in my mind after what feels like a long and very uncomfortable journey.
Today I was unable to catch my usual train to Uni and instead Mum dropped me off at Park and Ride which I regularly use when the train is cancelled. When Mum orders my train tickets online for me using her card, she selects 'PlusBus'.
For those who are unaware of this, one would be required to pay an extra £3. This can be used on certain buses unlimited times in the day.
We didn't choose this option to simply save money, but instead this benefits me because of my deafness. I usually rely on the public buses in both Ipswich and Norwich to travel to Uni. I find it quite daunting and I am slowly building up my confidence... Until today when it was cruelly knocked! I rely on the 'PlusBus' ticket because I usually find it difficult to hear how much the journey is costing me. I am perfectly capable of counting my change, I usually end up giving a £5 note to the driver to avoid having to get him or her to repeat numerous times. I have had a horrible experience in the past of a bus driver getting angry at me because I didn't hear, even though I told him about my hearing (but that is another story!)
I have been using this ticket for 2 years whilst I have been commuting to Uni and I even checked on the Ipswich buses website which says that these tickets are accepted. Park and Ride is included in Ipswich buses, so I've never had this problem before up until today.
The driver refused to let me use this ticket saying these tickets were not accepted, pointing at a piece of paper. I argued back saying I had been using these tickets for 2 years and it has not been an issue. He further argued back, there was a massive queue behind me so I had to back down and I grabbed a £10 note from my purse... Bearing in mind what I mentioned previously about giving notes because I never catch the precise amount. I always mishear the number which is frustrating. The driver then would not accept this £10 note which led me into further frustration and walked off the bus and into the office to ask the receptionist. I said I needed change as the driver would not let me on the bus because of my 'PlusBus' ticket. She agreed until I pointed out that my ticket was 'between Norwich and ANY route permitted'. She came on to the bus with me to confront the driver and he once again pointed at the piece of paper. His attitude was terrible! She then explained something to him about why this is accepted (I didn't hear what was said) and then he gave up and let me on the bus clearly being rude towards me and he didn't even apologise!
For me, that felt like a very uncomfortable journey and reduced me to tears! What a great way to ruin my Monday morning and the start to my week!
I will be making a formal complaint as I shouldn't be made to feel that way. It has knocked my confidence massively! It is a big deal to me to be using public transport because I'm deaf.
Happy bloody Monday! :-(