A MUSLIM family say they were “singled out” by a Bournemouth bus driver.
The mother, who does not speak English, and daughter – both were wearing headscarves – and two sons, said they tried to purchase a family ticket on the number 2b bus when the problems began.
The family, who asked not to be named to prevent further problems, said the driver became “irate”.
Yellow Buses said the driver had been disciplined but strongly denied that the incident had anything to do with race.
The 16-year-old daughter of the family said the argument began when she was told a family ticket was £9, when the week before it had been £7.
“He spoke to me in a very rude tone, I was shocked,” she said.
She then tried to purchase individual tickets, but she and the driver again disagreed over the cost.
“He turned the engine off and he said ‘Let’s make these people wait and be later than they are’. He got to the point where he was really angry, so I said we would just get off the bus,” said the daughter.
The family said that they then tried to flag down another bus, but the driver of the first one told its driver not to allow them on.
The daughter added: “Me and my mum were wearing headscarves and he didn’t do it to anyone else, just us.”
The family said they felt singled out, embarrassed, and victims of a “hate crime”.
Jenni Wilkinson, Yellow Buses’ head of marketing, said: “We have fully investigated this incident, which arose over the cost of a family ticket. We are absolutely satisfied that no racism was involved and strenuously deny any such suggestion.
“We do, however, feel that the high standards of customer care our passengers expect were not met on this occasion and, for this reason, disciplinary action has been taken against the driver involved. We have also apologised to the family.”