Norfolk

Norwich woman, 89, told to get off bus after lunch 'joke'

Joyce Polis
Image caption Joyce Polis, 89, said she was forced to walk home after she ended up insulting a bus driver with her joke

An 89-year-old woman says she was ordered off a bus after telling the driver "you look down, have you not had your lunch?".

Joyce Polis said she had to walk back home after she unwittingly offended the driver by trying to crack the joke as she went to pay her fare.

The driver told her to get off the bus in Norwich after replying he was insulted, as first reported in the EDP.

Operator First Eastern Counties said it apologised and was investigating.

Mrs Polis, who was signed off by doctors last week after undergoing treatment for bowel cancer, said: "The bus drivers are lovely normally… they often have a joke.

"It's just what you do."

She said the driver had refused to take her money after she made the comment while boarding the number 11 service in Anglia Square on Sunday.

"He said 'you've insulted me, get off the bus. I'm not taking you on the bus'," said Mrs Polis.

"I couldn't think of anything I said that was insulting - I stood there but he wouldn't start the bus and everyone was waiting.

"He said: 'You've got to get off the bus'."

'Misunderstanding'

Mrs Polis, who walks with a stick, said she waited at the bus stop a bit longer before deciding to walk the half-mile (0.8km) home.

She said she wanted to speak out because she did not want the same thing to happen to someone more vulnerable.

Her daughter complained to the firm.

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: "There has clearly been a misunderstanding between the customer and our driver to which we will look into based on the information provided to us.

"I would like to apologise to the lady concerned for any inconvenience caused."

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