Blackburn carer refused free bus journey

A DISABLED man was left in Blackburn town centre after a driver refused to let his carer on his bus – despite her carrying a British Red Cross carers’ card.

By Dan Clough, Reporter

Charlotte and Nathan Charlotte and Nathan

Nathan Montague, 19, has problems with his hearing, asthma, has been tested for autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder and takes anti-depressants.

His girlfriend, 16-year-old Charlotte Hamer, looks after his medicine and has to be with him at all times in case he has a problem.

Mr Montague, who lives with Charlotte and her parents in Rothesay Road, Blackburn, carries a NoWcard, which gives him free travel on Transdev buses.

But when the pair tried to get on the number seven bus in Blackburn Boulevard to get home, Charlotte, who carries the Red Cross Carers Emergency Card, was denied access by the driver – despite having used the card for free travel on several occasions.

The pair had no money with them and were left to walk home in the cold.

Charlotte, a student at St Mary’s College, Blackburn, said she was responsible for Nathan: “Nathan is on anti-depressants which are hugely addictive, so I have to be there to watch him take them. I keep his tablets for him. I have responsibility for him.”

Mr Montague said if he was left on his own he could have real problems.

He said: “I didn’t know how I was going to get home. I said to the driver, ‘if you don’t let me on this bus I could collapse’.

“I need to have Charlotte with me as I have had blackouts in the past.”

A spokesman for Transdev said: “Free travel is provided by the local authority, not the bus company.

“Our policy is that free travel is available for the disabled person but not the carer.”

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