Dagenham carer suffers intimidation after Oyster card problem

Susan Marsden with her husband, Peter, after she was forced to walk home alone in the dark

Susan Marsden with her husband, Peter, after she was forced to walk home alone in the dark - Credit: Archant

A bingo player suffered intimidation and abuse after she was forced to walk home alone in the dark.

Susan Marsden had enjoyed a fun night out with friends at Mecca in Romford before boarding a train to Chadwell Heath station on Wednesday last week.

But when the 45-year-old attempted to get on the 368 bus to her home in Lychfield Road, Dagenham, she found she was not allowed to travel – despite having more than £4 on her Oyster card.

“I knew it had money on it, but the machine didn’t seem to be working,” said Susan, who later checked her balance and found the money was on the card.

After several attempts at swiping the card, the bus driver said she could not board the empty bus.

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“I just started walking, though the area wasn’t lit up very well,” explained the full-time carer.

“I turned down Burnside Road and noticed three boys were following me.

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“By the time I got to Becontree Avenue they were still there, they were shouting at me to go over to them and I was really scared.

“I phoned my husband and they told me to hand over my phone but he came out with our two dogs, German Shepherds, and two of the boys ran off.”

When Susan’s husband Peter, 68, walked over to the third boy, he also scarpered.

Susan explained she felt annoyed at the driver, but also understood he was doing his job.

“I’m not going to stop using buses, but it scared the hell out of me, and I didn’t sleep at all,” she added.

“I’m sorry to hear of this woman’s experience,” said Anthony Akers, TfL’s head of bus operations.

“In this sort of instance, drivers should allow a passenger to stay on board for their journey.

“We have reminded Blue Triangle, which operates the 368, of this policy.”

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