I’m reproducing here the most recent posting from Leon Daniels blog. I could have commented on it and made a link to it but I hope that by republishing it in full on another website may spread its content wider and louder by getting more search engine listings. I’m doing this without permission from Leon because I’ve tried to contact him without success – I’ve not got any of the accounts required to make a comment on his blog and there is no direct e-mail address published. If anyone who knows him could tell him what I’ve done I’d appreciate it. If he’s not happy having his content published here it will immediately be removed.
I’ve just done a search on google.co.uk using the term “Amy Wootten”+bus which reported 1,650 results! Well here’s another mention for AMY WOOTTEN and her BUS trip.
I too was once saved by technology, in my case a tachograph chart, which showed that the claimant was lying through their teeth! I wrote about it here in February 2007.
A customer issue this week
Now then, you’ll know that there is quite a lot of stuff I can’t always write about because it is politically or commercially sensitive but if you’ve been following a story in Bristol this week you’ll have seen the public side of something which has been going on and which I am going to make some comment about even though the case is not closed.
Earlier this week a young lady complained she had been ejected from a bus in Bristol for breastfeeding. According to her there was a complaint from another passenger, the driver threatened to call the police, and she was left humiliated by the roadside, in the rain, and forced to take a taxi, at some cost.
We swung into action with an apology, vouchers, flowers and of course there was the inevitable stuff with the press. The story went national and was all over the internet, in mothers’ rights columns as well as the daily newspapers.
Of course – we entirely respect the rights of mothers to breastfeed, apologised profusely but the whole thing was reputationally damaging.
In due course, having sat through hours of CCTV we conclude this report is complete fiction. A young lady resembling the complainant does board the bus at the time and place she says but actually breastfeeds completely without hindrance, and far from being thrown off the bus, alights of her own free will at the terminus. The CCTV entirely corroborates the driver’s version of events.
Of course we remain open to the possibilitity that she has the time and date wrong, although it is something of a co-incidence that a young lady of similar age and appearance was breastfeeding on the very bus her original complaint referred to. Although invited to view the CCTV footage, she prefers not to.
And why am I telling you this? Well firstly because it is fair to say that there was a natural assumption by many that the lady was being truthful and the driver was in the wrong. I sincerely regret that he was put in such a position. And secondly because whilst the media was quick to highlight the story, so far only the Bristol Evening Post has had the courage to run a new page 1 and page 2 story setting out the facts as they are now appear to be.
For everyone else in the UK we will be remembered as the miserable, narrow-minded bus company which ejected an innocent mother in winter.
But fortunately the internet spreads very quickly around the world. Even this blog can be read by ordinary people, encouraged and asssted by the power of search engines. So for this reason, and to set the record straight, I have no hesitation in referring to Amy Wootten of Stockwood, Bristol, England who, it appears, was never forced off a bus in the way described in her complaint to the media and to apologise to Rob Stone, our driver, for the brief period this week when in the Court of Public Opinion it was taken for granted that he had acted improperly.
This is a matter which is not yet concluded. Further representations and evidence may yet come to light. However this information is correct to the best of my knowledge at this time (Saturday night) and I publish it now to place it in the public domain whilst the issue remains topical in the minds of the public at large.