St Albans ex-serviceman is left ‘staggered’ after bus fall

Graham Card, a retired & disabled war veteran, was injured on an UNO bus just 11 days after having h

Graham Card, a retired & disabled war veteran, was injured on an UNO bus just 11 days after having his fifth hip replacement - Credit: Archant

A disabled ex-serviceman who suffered a fall on a bus just 11 days after his fifth hip replacement has hit out at the company’s refusal to award him compensation.

Graham Card, 59, of Cell Barnes Close in St Albans, has criticised his treatment by Uno buses after the incident on the 2.20pm S1 bus from St Peter’s Street in St Albans on April 25.

Graham, who served in Northern Ireland between 1976 and 1994, was travelling home after going into town to pick up an emergency prescription.

He said: “For emergency reasons I had to get the bus to town to get painkillers as I was running out.

“I was sat directly behind the driver in the priority seats and after I pressed the button for the stop in Cell Barnes Lane, I waited for it to stop before getting up.

“The bus stopped, the doors opened, I tried to get out of my seat and then he shot forward.

“I fell onto an elderly foreign couple sat to the left of me and then everyone shouted for the bus driver to stop so he slammed his foot on the brakes which threw me to the right onto the floor.”

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Graham maintained that the driver must have seen him sitting behind him and should have been more aware there was a disabled passenger on board.

He went on: “In the past, when there was a disabled person on the bus, the bus driver would make an effort to wait for them to get off the bus.

“What I am staggered about is that in this day and age there is no CCTV or audio on buses for the passengers’ safety and for the bus drivers themselves.

“It just shows that Uno buses has such a cavalier attitude, which makes me question how seriously they take the customers’ welfare.”

Graham said that as he had undergone his fifth hip replacement operation shortly before his fall, it had affected his recovery and left him with bruising on his left shoulder as well as his hip.

He added that the incident had also left him concerned that the elderly couple he fell onto had also been injured.

James Thorpe, managing director of Uno Buses Ltd, said: “This case has been reported to us through Herts County Council and is currently being investigated.

“I would like to reassure our passengers that we take their safety extremely seriously.

“Uno conducts a rigorous programme of driving standards checks and this is reflected in our excellent safety record.”

He added that reported incidents were “investigated fully” and customers were encouraged to speak to their driver or contact the company on 01707 255764 or if they have any safety concerns.