Muslim family banned from bus

A bus company has apologised after a Muslim family of nine was stopped from boarding a bus to Leeds. The Alhajeri family were refused entry onto the Transdev Harrogate and District No 36 bus from Harewood to Leeds on Monday evening, because the mother and eldest daughters were wearing burkhas.

They had been on a family day out visiting the house on holiday from their home country of Kuwait. They had travelled by bus from Leeds in the morning, and had a valid return ticket to get back that evening. The driver told the family they were not allowed to board as the CCTV cameras would not be able to see the faces of the women, who were wearing a full veil.

Harrogate Transdev and District said this week that it seemed the driver had misinterpreted guidance about photo card bus passes, and apologised for any embarrassment to the family.

Managing director Dave Alexander said: “It seems that he has misinterpreted some guidance using bus passes and photo cards. For those that have paid a cash fare, that is clearly not an issue. This certainly wasn’t in any way malicious or intended to offend anybody. I think the driver’s explanation was a genuine one.”

He said that the bus company would be willing to issue a formal apology to the family, and that the company would be re-issuing guidance to all drivers in the next few days.

The family did manage to return to Leeds as the next 36 bus allowed them to board without any trouble.

Wetherby News, 18 July 2008