First Bus investigates 'racist incident' involving driver and girl, 14

First bus in Norwich; Photo: Bill Smith

First Bus are investigating reports of a racist incident in Norwich city centre on Saturday, May 15 - Credit: Archant © 2011

A bus firm is investigating an allegation of racism, after a driver was accused of refusing to allow a 14-year-old girl, who had attended a protest march, to board.

First Bus said it was taking the allegations "very seriously" after a conversation took place between a driver and the teenager on St Stephens Street at around 4pm on Saturday. 

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: "We have been made aware of an incident where an alleged conversation has taken place between one of our drivers and a member of the public who attempted to board a bus in Norwich city centre last Saturday.

"We are taking the allegations very seriously and will be interviewing the driver concerned to establish their involvement in the incident.

"We do not condone any type of racist language or activity from any member of staff working within our business or from any member of the public directed towards any member of our staff."

The girl, who attends a secondary school in Norwich, had been taking part in the Solidarity with Palestine protest and march in the city centre on Saturday afternoon. 

Palestinian flags are waved proudly outside Norwich Forum on Saturday afternoon 

The incident took place after the Solidarity with Palestine protest in Norwich city centre - Credit: Ben Hardy

She said she was refused entry onto the bus after the driver allegedly told her the protest was "really stupid". 

After the girl had defended the right to peacefully protest, she said the driver 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". 

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It is understood the family are in the process of contacting the police over the alleged incident. 

St Stephens Street in Norwich. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The alleged racist incident took place on St Stephens Street - Credit: Archant

The girl said: "It is unacceptable to make someone feel out of place. I said to the bus driver that after what you have just said, I am not going to get on this bus anyway.

"I had to contact my parents to pick me up. I was made to feel uncomfortable and scared. I did not know what to do and it just did not feel right."

The girl also said the driver had been frustrated with protesters walking in the road, but claimed he was still able to easily pass.