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Unruly old folk could face bus ban

PUBLISHED: 18:26 18 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 March 2010

FOUR pensioners have been warned today they could be BANNED from buses in Ipswich because of their "unacceptable" behaviour.

Victor Francis, 87, his brothers George, 74, and Percy, 71, and George's partner Olive Lambert, 74, have been accused of acting like children - despite their age.

FOUR pensioners have been warned today they could be BANNED from buses in Ipswich because of their "unacceptable" behaviour.

Victor Francis, 87, his brothers George, 74, and Percy, 71, and George's partner Olive Lambert, 74, have been accused of acting like children – despite their age.

Drivers claim the pensioners have verbally abused passengers and staff over a period of more than six months.

Police have been called to at least one incident and the group has been warned it is one step away from being barred for life.

"Their behaviour and attitude towards our drivers and customers is totally unacceptable and there have been times when they have been removed from our vehicles," Ipswich Buses managing director Malcolm Robson said today.

"We have a duty to care for our drivers, customers and vehicles and there have been times when their behaviour has dropped below the point where it is acceptable.

"If they continue to behave in an unacceptable way, then in an extreme case we do ban people from the buses."

But former rail worker George claims the ruling is not fair.

"I've been travelling on the buses since 1948. I don't cause any trouble on the bus," he said.

"I have travelled on 15,000 buses and I have never been barred from the bus. Everyone loves us. Ipswich bus drivers are nasty, they pick on us for nothing."

George, who lives with his brother Victor and his partner Olive in Tyler Street, Ipswich, shot to notoriety last year when he passed his driving test at the age of 73 – only to lose it five months later when he was banned for drink driving.

An 11 year fight to gain a licence involving lessons costing £10,00 and a string of 13 instructors and eight tests hit a sobering moment when Ipswich magistrates handed him a 12 month ban and £70 fine after he had held a licence for just five months.

But George and his brothers are clearly not getting used to life back on the buses again.

He admits that on one occasion the police were called to an incident when he got upset on his way to the supermarket but adds "ever since then me and my brothers and lady friend have been picked on".

The brothers told The Evening Star that they believed they had already been banned from all Ipswich buses and that the decision was not fair.

Percy, who lives in Fore Street, said: "None of us do anything on the bus. We're as quiet as church mice us four when we go on the bus."

Mr Robson said that if the brothers had been banned they would have been sent a letter explaining the reasons in full.

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