Every second counts; driver refuses to accept pass as ex copper had boarded before 9.30am.
Byline: NAOMI CORRIGAN email@example.com @NaomiCorrigan
A DISABLED ex-bobby was left "absolutely humiliated" after being told he could not use his bus pass as he had boarded "seconds" too early.
Ted O'Hara, who is suffering from lung disease and carries an oxygen tank, had decided to use his bus pass for the first time to do some shopping in Redcar.
But he claims the driver picking him up on Redcar Road refused to accept his pass as he was too early by "a matter of seconds".
The 55-year-old dad and grandad said: "Honestly, I was gobsmacked."
Mr O'Hara said he had looked at his watch and it said 9.29am and 33 seconds.
He said, 'you can get said, 'It's not an "I said, 'It's only about 30 seconds away.'" But Mr O'Hara said Ted he was told he would have to pay the 30p like everyone else, or get off the bus. "I said what an arrogant a******e you are," he told The Gazette.
"He said, 'That's abuse, you can get off,' and I said, 'It's not abuse, it's an observation.' "I should have said 'jobsworth' but he caught me off-guard."
It was the first time Mr O'Hara had used a bus in about 35 years.
And he accepted that before 9.30am, bus pass holders must pay 30p.
But he said he was left feeling angered and humiliated in front of the other passengers.
"You're talking seconds and it was the way he said get off the bus," he said.
"I know it's only 30p but it was only a few seconds away."
When it turned 9.30am, Mr O'Hara said the bus driver told him he could now use his pass.
"When I took the ticket out it was 9.30am plus 11 seconds," he said.
Mr O'Hara, who was in uniform for Cleveland Police for 30 years, was diagnosed with sarcoidosis - which affects the ability of the lungs to function normally - after retirement.
He requires supplemental oxygen, which he carries around in a portable tank. At the time of the incident he had the tank on his back but the tubing was not clipped on to his nose.
That's abuse, off,' and I abuse, it's observation.
O'Hara He told The Gazette: "Basically my lungs are dying and at some stage I am going to need a lung transplant," he said. "I am not after the sympathy vote but it made me feel awful, it spoilt my day.
"For the sake of about 10 seconds it's battered my pride.
"I have been on buses in my job and shot people off, I know drivers can have a hard time, but for a matter of seconds.
"It was a Thursday morning, it was mainly older people on the bus. That's why I kept my cool."
He said, 'That's abuse, you can get off,' and I said, 'It's not abuse, it's an observation. Ted O'Hara
Ted O'Hara says the incident spoilt his day ian cooper