Thursday 3 November 2016

Mayfair businessman handed over £750 bill after he rode bus for free


Robert Rowland, 50, described how he was caught in a "Kafka-esque nightmare" after forgetting his wallet on his way to work.

He offered to pay cash when he boarded the number 9 Routemaster in Hammersmith but the driver and conductor let him travel for free because they recognised him and knew he was not a fare dodger.

But as he was about to disembark at Green Park, he was stopped by an "officious and uncooperative" ticket inspector who ignored his explanation and accused him of intentionally trying to evade payment.

The married father-of-four vowed to "fight to the Supreme Court" to clear his name after ending up with a bill more than 500 times the original £1.50 bus fare.

But TfL said it would be dropping the case and ensuring Mr Rowland "would not be left out of pocket".

Steve Burton, director of enforcement and on-street operations, apologised "unreservedly" for what had happened.

He said: "We have undertaken a rapid review of this case and it is now clear that Mr Rowland was given permission to make his journey by the bus driver.

"We apologise unreservedly to Mr Rowland and will not be taking the matter any further. We will also ensure that Mr Rowland is not left out of pocket."

Mr Rowlands told how he gave the ticket inspector his name and address after the incident in May and subsequently received a summons through the post and an order to pay a fine of £225.



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