Norwich bus driver suspended over racism allegation

The 'bus gate' on Rampant Horse Street, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A First Bus driver has been suspended - Credit: Archant

A city bus driver has been suspended after an investigation into an alleged racist incident involving a schoolgirl in May. 

First Bus has conducted interviews after a driver was accused of refusing to allow a 14-year-old girl to board at St Stephens Street in Norwich following a Solidarity with Palestine protest on Saturday, May 15. 

The girl, who attends a secondary school in Norwich, said she was refused entry onto the bus around 4pm after the driver allegedly told her the protest was "really stupid".

It is also claimed that he told her "you people should not be doing it here in Norwich", before going on to say "you can get off my bus, I am not taking you". 

St Stephens Street in Norwich. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The incident took place on St Stephen Street in Norwich - Credit: Archant

Ady Culpin, PR manager for First Bus, said the driver had been suspended after the investigation had concluded.

He said: "After concluding an investigation and interviewing the driver concerned relating to the allegations, appropriate action has been taken in line with the incident." 


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In response to the decision, the girl said she was relieved with the bus company's handling of the situation. 

She said: "Yes I am satisfied as I was not sure if they would go with it but I am still really annoyed with what happened at the time." 

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The girl added that the police were investigating and would be speaking to her school after half-term.

Palestinian flags are waved proudly outside Norwich Forum on Saturday afternoon 

The 14-year-old girl had been taking part in the Solidarity with Palestine protest in Norwich - Credit: Ben Hardy

The incident took place after more than 100 people had gathered outside the Forum calling for prompt action from the UK government to help end the violence against the Palestinian people. 

It is understood the First driver had been frustrated with protesters walking in the road before he refused to allow the girl to board his bus.

The girl said her parents had to collect her after she was unable to get on the bus. She said she was made to feel "uncomfortable and scared" in the situation. 

The police have been contacted for comment.

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