Pensioner forced to hike two miles home

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A pensioner was forced to walk two miles home late at night because a bus driver refused to drop him off at his stop.

Bruce Henderson (75) had been in Edinburgh and was looking to get a 11.26pm bus back from Glebe Road, Corstorphine to Winchburgh.

He was told by the driver of the 22B First Bus that it would be only be heading to Kirkliston because of the closure of Niddry Road.

There was no mention of the diversion on the First Bus app, its website or West Lothian Council’s site despite warnings of other services being disrupted.

It meant Bruce had a two-mile hike from Kirkliston to his home on Main Street, Winchburgh.

He said: “I had no option but to walk. I’d been in Edinburgh for a meal with some friends.

“It wasn’t a very nice experience and there is a turning point for buses just east of the town too.

“I’m not the worrying type but imagine if it had been an elderly woman or a younger woman who had been walking alone at that time of night?”

Bruce complained to First Bus and West Lothian.

A spokesperson for First West Lothian apologised and said they were in contact with Bruce.

They said the turning circle is not suitable for safe use by westbound buses so it was not possible for the driver to turn there.

The spokesperson added: “We’re sorry to learn of the inconvenience experienced by the customer and we’re in contact with him.

“Changes and disruption to services have been unavoidable due to the current road closure.”

A WLC spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise to the customer and we have taken steps to ensure this error does not occur again.

“The service 38 provides a connection from Kirkliston to Winchburgh and vice versa throughout the duration of the closure and, subsequently, First Bus are allowing passengers to transfer between bus services at Kirkliston for no additional cost.

“However, following this complaint it has now been recognised that the latest journey on service 22B is not covered by this arrangement Monday – Thursday. It order to rectify this, the council has agreed with First Bus that the last journey on the 22B will now serve Winchburgh at 12.05am. On Fridays, the journey 22B will omit Winchburgh however passengers should changeover at Kirkliston and get the available 38 to Winchburgh.

“Our website has also been amended to include a short message about the 22B journey to avoid further confusion.”