AN elderly cancer patient from Wellington has hit out at a bus company she says is risking vulnerable passengers lives.

Angela Boyd, 71, Rockwell Green, says drivers on the Buses of Somerset route to Taunton require better training to prevent people getting injured during “jolts” onboard.

Mrs Boyd has been using the 22 and 22A services to Taunton in order to get to her cancer treatments at Musgrove Park Hospital, usually alighting in Wellington Road, near the college.

However, Mrs Boyd said the buses travelled so fast that it had to stop sharply to let her off, causing her to be shaken around and at risk of being knocked to the floor She also says that sometimes the buses did not stop in time and carried on to the bus stop near Tesco, leaving her with a longer and more tiring walk to the hospital.

“I am not used to using the bus, so I was shocked by how it sped along and really jolted passengers around,” she said.

“The drivers do not seem to have much care for their passengers, the way they drive like that.

“I have to hold on tight to stop myself falling over and I cannot believe I am the only older person who is worried about being injured.

“They really need to do something about training their drivers so they understand how to look after older passengers better.”

Mrs Boyd said she had also been left stranded at the bus stop opposite the college as two buses in succession drove past without stopping, when she was making her return journey to Rockwell Green.

She said: “It is not a pleasant experience having chemotherapy, and afterwards I just want to get back to my home, so it was quite distressing when the buses would not stop.

“It is a bus ‘stop’ and not a ‘halt’, so if the driver sees somebody there, then they should stop for them.”

Wellington Town Councillor John Thorne took up Mrs Boyd’s complaints with Buses of Somerset and asked about the safeguarding procedures for vulnerable passengers.

Cllr Thorne said: “Buses are an important mode of transport for many elderly and vulnerable people in our community and I would expect they were able to feel secure on all journeys, so it was a real concern to hear of Mrs Boyd’s experiences.”

But the company says that while they take Mrs Boyd’s comment seriously, she should instead find more “bespoke” transport.

Alex Carter, managing director at Buses of Somerset, said: “We are very sorry to hear of Mrs Boyd’s experience. While we have received no complaint from Mrs Boyd, and as such haven’t been able to properly investigate the matter, we would like to reassure her that our drivers are trained and monitored on providing a smooth journey experience, although the age and type of vehicle and road also play a big part in the customer experience.

“A large part of our in-house driver training is about providing an excellent customer experience, and especially smooth driving practices to give passengers a safe and pleasant journey. While in operation, all our buses are collecting telematics data, which gives us a lot of detailed information about a driver’s driving style.

“This allows us to assess individual drivers on their driving behaviour, give them feedback and identify further training needs.”

“We do take her remarks seriously and we are keen to provide a pleasant journey experience. Considering Ms Boyd’s individual needs and cancer treatment, perhaps a more bespoke door-to-door form of patient transport could be found, as offered by patient transport services. We do take her remarks to heart and hope her treatment goes well.”