A DISABLED worker was nearly left stranded at a bus stop in Taunton as temperatures plummeted to -2C.

Donald Hadfield was trying to get the last bus home after completing his shift at Asda in Taunton when he faced his latest clash with a bus driver.

Mr Hadfield from Ilminster, who is wheelchair bound, previously made the front of his local paper, the Chard and Ilminster News after being blocked from his regular service.

The army veteran was told he could not get on the bus from Ilminster to Taunton to complete his shift at Asda as there was a pushchair in the way.

The first time it happened he was left in torrential rain and was late for work.

He said: “I get the bus from Ilminster to Taunton on my working days. Because I have a disabled bus pass I am able to travel for free after 9.30am, so I get the 9.58am to Taunton to work.

“The first time it was a horrible day, pouring with rain, and the reason he couldn’t let me on was because there was a pushchair on board.”

Each time that Donald has been blocked entry from the number 30 bus it has been because there is a pushchair in the disabled space.

Every time it has resulted in him being an hour and 30 minutes late for work. He loses out on money and has to forgo his lunch break.

“When I normally get on the driver lowers the ramp for me, makes sure there is a space for me, and there is a sign that says ‘this space is reserved for a wheelchair’,” Mr Hadfield added.

“The second time, the driver just looked at me and shook his head.

“Fortunately, there was another lady who took umbrage with that and argued my side.”

After the second time it happened, a spokesman from FirstBus apologised and said it was company policy for non-wheelchair users to move if blocking the space.

However, Mr Hadfield was forced to start 2019 as the previous year had ended - begging to be let on the bus because of a pushchair blocking his space.

He said: “It was the last bus home, the 6.15pm from Hamilton Road in Taunton.

“The driver said ‘I don’t think I can let you on’ and was prepared to leave me at the stop.”

That night, temperatures plummeted to -2C and Mr Hadfield would have had no other way of getting home.

Fortunately he was carrying a cutting from the News with FirstBus’ promises.

He added: “This driver didn’t know anything about my previous complaints.

“He said he could ask the lady to move her pushchair, but if she didn’t then he couldn’t let me on.

“I was left with so much rage.

“There is a sticker that says this space is reserved for a wheelchair.”

After arguing his case, Mr Hadfield was eventually given access. He added it feels like Russian Roulette every time he leaves the house.

Aled Williams, operations manager of Buses of Somerset said: “On this occasion Mr Hadfield was carried after the driver cleared the wheelchair space.

“We have contacted Mr Hadfield to discuss the matter with him and apologised in person.

“We have taken steps to ensure all our staff are familiar with the policy and apply the correct procedures.”