Shotley Gate: Brenda’s shock as she’s asked to pay 70p bus fare - for her dog!

SHOTLEY GATE: A pensioner today told of her bewilderment after she was told she could not board a bus because she didn’t have the 70p fare – for her Yorkshire terrier!

Brenda Pogson, who at 72 has a free bus pass, was at the stop near the Bristol Arms pub in Shotley Gate waiting to board the number 98 to visit her daughter, Tracey Gant, a couple of stops away in Shotley.

But as she got on the bus, she was shocked to hear the driver ask her for 70p – the fare for her tiny eight-year-old terrier Beth.

Mrs Pogson, who lives in Lower Harlings, said: “I’ve taken her on the bus before but I have never been charged. He told me it would be 70p. I asked what for and he said it was for the dog!

“I thought he was joking and went to sit down but he said I would have to get off or he would call the police. I really thought it was a joke – I didn’t believe him.”

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The pensioner was so unprepared for the incident that she had not even brought her purse with her to pay the fare, and had no other choice but to get off the bus and go home with Beth, who weighs just 1.8kg.

“I just think it was so utterly ridiculous and unnecessary,” she added.

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“I was cross because she’s so tiny she could have gone in my handbag and you wouldn’t have even seen her.

“The bus was completely empty except for the two ladies getting on at the same time as me, so it’s not like she was taking up someone else’s space.

“What was I supposed to do – let her run along behind the bus?”

Mrs Pogson has now vowed she will no longer take the bus and would rather walk the 30 minutes to her daughter’s house.

n What do you think of charging dogs to use the buses? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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