Essex

Copper coin refusal bus driver 'could have handled situation better'

Laura Pulley and her daughters Image copyright Laura Pulley
Image caption Laura Pulley was getting the bus with one of her daughters when she was told she could not travel

A bus driver who called police when a passenger tried to pay part of her fare in 1p and 2p coins has said he wants to meet her in person to apologise.

Laura Pulley, from Canvey Island in Essex, was told she could not travel when she tried to pay 25p in coppers.

Bus company First wrote to her to say the driver realised "the situation could have been handled better".

"I hope he thinks twice next time in handling the situation differently," said Ms Pulley, 35.

"I've had a letter from First bus company saying they had confirmed the operations team had spoken to the bus driver and they genuinely apologised for the incident.

"The driver has confirmed that after reflection the situation could have been handled better and he would like the opportunity to apologise personally to me.

Image caption A bus driver refused to accept 25p paid in 1p and 2p coins

"I accept the apology in the letter but I am still unsure whether I shall let him apologise to me personally.

"I'm pleased to have the letter. There had been a couple of nasty comments suggesting I had been aggressive and abusive.

"This is for my own peace of mind - I know I wasn't rude. To have him accept responsibility and apologise makes me happy."

Ms Pulley was refused travel when trying to make a short journey on Canvey Island on Monday.

After the driver called police, an officer spoke to him and then offered Ms Pulley some spare change.

"I couldn't believe the audacity of the driver to tell me I couldn't travel," Ms Pulley said.

The Coinage Act 1971 says 1p and 2p coins are legal tender for any amount not exceeding 20p.

But "both parties are free to agree to accept any form of payment whether legal tender or otherwise according to their wishes", the Royal Mint says.

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