A woman who suffers with PTSD and anxiety claims an Arriva driver became 'irate' and told her to get off the bus for not wearing a face mask, despite her being exempt.

Charlene Oakley, 35, boarded the bus shortly before 12.30pm on Monday, (September 28), when she claims the driver questioned her about where her face covering was.

Ms Oakley, from New Ferry, suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), claims after she explained why she wasn't wearing a face mask the driver requested to see her exemption card, writes the Liverpool Echo.

However, it is "a personal choice and is not necessary in law" to have an exemption card, according to the government website.

Despite explaining this to the driver when she boarded the 418 bus towards Birkenhead, Ms Oakley says he became irate and turned the engine off.

She said: "I got on and he asked me do I have a face covering.

"I said 'no I don't wear one for medical reasons ' and he said 'show me then. Show me your exemption card'.

"I said 'I don't have an exemption card.' I've looked into it before and the government website says you don't have to carry one with you. It's not the law."

"I actually got it back up and went over to his cab. He said 'that's a load of rubbish."

  • GMB expert Dr Hilary issues stark coronavirus warning as Donald Trump tests positive

When Ms Oakley tried explaining the rules around face mask exemption cards to the driver, she claims he responded with "well you can get off the bus then."

She said: "I said I'm not getting off the bus. I already had my ticket anyway so I went and sat down.

"Then he turned the engine off and came out of his cab bit screaming and shouting that 'people like you are responsible for ruining our country.'

"I was gobsmacked."

  • Corrie's Jack P Shepherd slammed by girlfriend for ditching face mask at theme park

Ms Oakley claims she "refused to back down" and the driver eventually continued with the journey.

She added: "I don't want to have to explain my personal circumstances every time I get a bus."

Following the incident Ms Oakley, who also suffers from anxiety, claims it has put her off using public transport.

An Arriva spokesperson told the Echo: "I have made our Birkenhead Depot management team aware of this incident and they are investigating the matter, due to the distress this customer says they have experienced.

"Arriva bus drivers have been advised to inform customers who are not wearing a face covering on boarding the bus, that they are required to do so by law, throughout their entire journey, unless they are exempt.

"If a customer is not exempt and refuses to wear a face covering, then our drivers have been instructed to explain to the customer that they are breaking the law and that the police have powers to impose a fine of up to £100.

"Anyone with an exemption is advised to have an exemption card with them, for use on public transport, as detailed above."

Source: Read Full Article