A YOUNG disabled woman was refused entry onto a bus and left crying on the pavement, a "disgusted" pensioner has claimed.

Ron Squire was on the number 17 Stagecoach bus to Worthing earlier this month when a woman with a wheelchair tried to board at Preston Park.

The 77-year-old, of Lions Dene, Brighton, claimed the driver told the woman she had to get off because there was no space.

He said she pleaded to stay on board but the driver picked up her chair, carried it off and drove away, leaving the woman "crying on the pavement". The company is now investigating the incident.

He said: "As we got to Preston Park a young lady got on with a wheelchair. She had a job finding somewhere to park her chair. No-one got up to help her so I did. She was trying to find somewhere to put her chair and the bus driver got up and said to her, ‘you are going to have to get on another bus'.

“She started to cry and kept saying, ‘it’s embarrassing.’ I tried to calm her down, telling her, ‘it’s not embarrassing’. But then the bus driver got hold of her chair and put it on the pavement.”

Mr Squire said the incident has left him shaken up, adding: "I think it was disgusting. It was a very traumatic thing, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I couldn’t sleep all week. It’s not right. She was crying her eyes out on the pavement."

Mr Squire said he complained to Stagecoach’s Worthing office as soon as he got off the bus on Wednesday, December 2 but was still waiting for a response.

A Stagecoach spokesman said: "We were notified of this incident by Mr Squire and it is currently under investigation. We understand that a passenger tried to park in the disabled bay, but unfortunately found the wheelchair too large to fit safely.

"The passenger was then assisted off the vehicle so that she could catch the following bus. All our vehicles are fitted to the required specifications but some have a larger wheelchair capacity.

"We have not received a complaint from the passenger herself and understand the driver concerned tried to assist the passenger as much as he believed possible. We are very sorry for any upset caused."