A DISABLED pensioner who had just been to hospital was left in the pouring rain for 20 minutes after his bus suddenly and unexpectedly terminated.

Ray Hughes, of Well Hill, Orpington, was on his way home from the Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough last Monday (January 13).

The previous Friday he had been discharged from hospital after shoulder replacement surgery, and he returned for a check up.

News Shopper:

The 64-year-old, who is registered disabled because of chronic arthritis in his foot, left the hospital at 4.25pm and got on an R3 bus.

The R3 runs every half an hour, and is the only bus that goes to Mr Hughes' relatively isolated home in Well Hill.

He told News Shopper: "I was on the bus for 40 minutes while it did its winding route through Petts Wood.

"On route it was stopping at stops and opening its doors, even though nobody was getting on and nobody was getting off.

"We arrived at Orpington station. Suddenly the auto voice says the bus has now terminated.

"I spoke to the bus driver who said it was now too late go there.

"I shook my head in disbelief. I said 'I don't believe this'.

"I had to get off the bus and it was pouring with rain outside."Mr Hughes knew he would have to wait at least another half an hour for his bus, so called his wife and asked her to come and pick him up.

She arrived 20 minutes later to find him cold and wet.

The retired teacher added: "I was just staggered.

"What if there had been other people on board who were older than me and more frail?

"It was preposterous."

News Shopper:

Transport for London's Director of Buses Mike Weston said: "We apologise to Mr Hughes for the disruption to his journey on January 13 on a route R3 bus in the Orpington area.

"We always try to keep curtailments to an absolute minimum but at times they are necessary due to traffic conditions outside of our control and to maintain a service on the full length of the route.

"We will speak to the operator Metrobus to fully understand what happened on this occasion."