Investigation after bus driver’s ‘racist comment’ against disabled Peterborough passenger

An investigation has been launched after a bus driver allegedly made a racist comment against a disabled passenger in Peterborough.

Ian Barrington, from Thorney, claims he was racially abused by a First Bus driver when travelling from the village into Peterborough last Monday.

Ian Barrington on the bus when the incident occurred

Ian Barrington on the bus when the incident occurred

The Royal Mail worker has published a video where the driver can be heard saying: “I don’t understand foreign languages, I only understand English.”

Mr Barrington, who was shot during a robbery in the Caribbean in 2005, leaving him unable to walk, was on his way to a doctor’s appointment due to a blood clot in his left calf when the incident happened.

The episode was captured on camera and published on Facebook.

Mr Barrington (44) told the Peterborough Telegraph that the driver had declined to put up the ramp for him to get onto the bus as she had “a bad back”, meaning his wife Katarzyna Barrington had to lift him on.

He said he was then speaking to his wife about problems he had had with First Bus services before, including non-disabled passengers taking the wheelchair space, when the bus driver allegedly began to shout at him, leading to a heated exchange between the pair.

Mr Barrington continued: “I said if you think I have done something wrong by talking, you come and take me off the bus.

“She said ‘I don’t understand foreign languages, I only understand English’.”

Mr Barrington said he had told First Bus about problems he had had previously, adding: “Some of the drivers are very nice, but some won’t do their jobs.

“I would like an apology for her behaviour. I did nothing wrong, I did nothing to provoke her.”

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: ”We are taking this allegation very seriously as it is certainly not the kind of service we would expect to be provided by one of our driving team.

“I will be undertaking an investigation into the matter and will correspond with the gentleman concerned when the process is concluded.”