Heartless bus driver left blind woman a mile from her home at night

Heartless bus driver left blind woman a mile from her home at night… leaving her to walk through unlit rural road with cars zooming past at 60mph

A terrified blind woman was forced to walk a mile down a dark rural lane to get home after claiming to have been abandoned by a heartless bus driver at the side of the road. 

Frightened NHS worker Simone Woods was with her trusty guide dog Mervin when a ‘thoughtless’ driver on the 350 bus in North Lincolnshire allegedly dropped her off on an unlit country lane with no footpath. 

The 51-year-old, who was returning home to Winteringham following her shift at Scunthorpe General Hospital, was left in ‘floods of tears’ after her harrowing trek, which saw her having to avoid cars as they tore down the pitch-black lane at 60mph.

‘It was incredibly scary,’ she told Hull Live. ‘I was putting the light on my phone for my dog but he was quite stressed out as well, and by the time I got home I was in floods of tears.’

Bus firm Stagecoach has since apologised and said the decision to drop Ms Woods off was due to ongoing road works, which had closed the Winterton Road. But the travel operator’s move has been branded ‘shocking’ by a disabilities charity boss.  

NHS worker Simone Woods was with her trusty guide dog Mervin when she was left to walk along this unlit country road after being dumped by a bus driver a mile south of her village 

Pictured is the route Ms Woods and her guide dog were forced to trek

Clive Wood, lead regional policy and campaign manager for Guide Dogs, was horrified by Simone’s treatment and said she and Mervin should ‘never have been put at risk in this way’.

‘The shocking situation that Simone and her guide dog experienced is totally unacceptable,’ he told MailOnline. ‘Transport providers such as Stagecoach have a legal responsibility to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled people can travel safely and with confidence. 

‘In this situation, we would have expected the bus operator to arrange an alternative way for Simone to reach her final destination, such as calling her a taxi, rather than abandoning her on a dark road with fast moving cars and no pavement.’

Simone, an assistant divisional general manager in the NHS, has been registered blind for more than two years after suffering with glaucoma. She has no vision on her right side and only tunnel vision on her left side. 

Stagecoach had said they would not be serving Winteringham between November 20 and December 1 due to the road works. However, Ms Woods claimed the bus took her into the village on November 28 without issue. 

She added that on the night of her ordeal, November 30, she called Stagecoach to check to see if it would be running a service into her village, to which she claimed she was told this was down to the bus driver’s ‘discretion’.

Despite telling the driver the village was open and that there were alternate routes into Winteringham, Ms Woods says the bus worker was worried about ‘getting stuck’ and decided to leave her at the crossroads just north of Winteron. 

Speaking of her ordeal, she added: ‘My guide dog and I walked the mile and a bit into the village with only the light of my phone to guide my dog. I was cold and incredibly frightened, I really feel this could have been avoided.

‘Stagecoach told me that my safety was their priority and that they were aware the roadworks were finishing that evening. It was an awful experience.’

Simone has been registered blind for more than two years after suffering with glaucoma.

She can’t see anything at night and relies on her guide dog Mervin to get her home safely

Lesley Fowler, vice-chairman of Winteringham Parish Council, was appalled by Ms Woods’ bus journey nightmare.

‘This is just dreadful,’ she told MailOnline. ‘There were other access routes the bus could have used to come into the village. I can’t see why it didn’t to this.

‘I wouldn’t want to walk that road in the dark and I’m not blind. Looking at this in the cold light of day, something more ought to have been done [by Stagecoach], especially as this woman is registered blind. 

‘I wouldn’t use the word “heartless” to describe the driver’s action but it was certainly thoughtless.’ 

A spokesperson for Stagecoach East Midlands told Scunthorpe Live: ‘We take all incidents and concerns from passengers very seriously, and express our sincere apologies for any discomfort and inconvenience experienced by the passenger.’

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