AN 80-YEAR-OLD with serious heart and lung conditions was left facing a two-mile hike on the hottest day of the year after the bus she was expecting failed to stop.
And when the frail pensioner rang the bus company to complain she was greeted by very offensive language.
The Spalding resident, who does not wish to be named, had been to the Johnson Community Hospital on Saturday morning for an injection ahead of tests she was due to undergo last week.
A timetable in the bus shelter outside showed that Kimes ran a Saturday service which would stop at the hospital at 11.25am – but the 80-year-old was left stranded after watching it drive straight by the end of the road.
Instead she was forced to walk into Spalding town centre in temperatures topping 30C.
Her friend Marie Roe said: “She met up with us in town and she immediately burst into tears.
“We were quite worried about her and it’s a wonder she didn’t collapse and die right there.
“We were incensed she had to go through that.”
While in town, she also managed to speak to the driver of the number 59 bus, who told her that the Boston to Spalding service does not stop at the hospital on Saturdays “because the hospital is closed”.
She said: “It clearly isn’t closed on a Saturday because I had just been there.”
But the nightmare wasn’t over, as when she rang Folkingham-based Kimes on the Monday morning to ask why the bus had driven straight past, the first words to greet her on the telephone were offensive.
She said: “I said ‘that’s no way to talk to customers’, and he said that he thought he was talking to someone else.”
Phil Leonard, a spokesman for Centrebus, of which Kimes is a part, said the hospital is no longer on the Saturday route and said an investigation would be launched into why the timetable at the hospital bus shelter, as well as that displayed on Kimes website, was incorrect.
He has also since called the woman personally to apologise for what happened, and for the use of bad language when she called.
He said: “Unfortunately, it would appear that the roadside and website information is incorrect which has led to this unfortunate incident.
“I apologise profusely for what has happened. It is totally unacceptable that the phone was answered in that manner and I will investigate why that happened.”