A blind north-east pensioner has called for changes to the way temporary bus passes are issued.
Ian Morrice, who has been registered blind since 2013, found his Saltire card had expired only when he tried to board a bus.
The 66-year-old was then told he would be unable to obtain a temporary one as his card had not been damaged and would have to pay for travel until a new one arrived.
After the Evening Express contacted First about Ian’s problem, the firm agreed to give Ian a complimentary travel card until his permanent pass is ready.
However, the Seaton pensioner is still concerned other blind people could face similar problems with travel cards. He said: “I would imagine every blind person over 60 has had to deal with the same thing.
“If the date is printed on the card how am I supposed to see it?
“If anyone came in with a broken card or anything like that, they would be given a pass until their new one is sent out.
“But because mine is expired, even though I had no way of knowing, I was told I had to pay.
“I’m worried the same thing will happen to more people.”
Although cards are issued by councils, temporary passes can only be provided by bus operators.
David Adam, First’s depot operations manager, said: “Our policy states that, in the instance of a faulty pass, passengers can be automatically issued with a seven-day pass until theirs is fixed.
“For lapsed or expired passes this is not the case, due a higher risk of ticket fraud.
“The responsibility for the renewal of lapsed or expired concessionary passes lies solely with Aberdeen City Council.
“In this scenario, as a gesture of goodwill, we would be delighted to issue the customer with some complimentary travel to cover his journeys until his pass is renewed.”
A council spokeswoman said: “Local authorities are not permitted to issue a temporary pass if it has expired.
“However, we wanted to help the gentleman in question and contacted First Aberdeen.
“They have kindly agreed to issue a temporary pass.”