A FEMALE passenger who spat at a Bolton bus driver in a row over payment has been slammed as “disgraceful”.

Shocking footage, taken by a fellow traveller, shows a dispute between a customer and driver on the 582 service at a stop near Four Lanes End in Over Hulton at around 4pm on Tuesday afternoon.

In the video the furious woman asks for money from the driver, who in return tells her to get off the bus.

She shouts at him without wearing a face covering - which is now compulsory on public transport - which prompts passengers to tell her to put it back on.

After shouting fiercely at the driver, the woman then heads off the bus, before returning to spit in his face.

The Bolton News:

The woman on the bus

Her actions have been strongly condemned by the Unite union, which says bus operator Diamond is carrying out a full investigation.

Following the incident the remaining passengers were transferred to a different bus.

One of the passengers,who was on board at the time of the incident with around eight others, said: “The way he got treated is absolutely disgusting.

“The woman got on the bus at the bottom of Daubhill and asked to go to Asda and she paid with no problem.

“She pressed the bell and said this is not my stop but the driver said this is what you asked for. She said ‘no, take me further and carry on’ and the driver said she would have to pay more. She had a bit of a go and paid him and sat down.”

The eyewitness said that after several more stops, when her fare had reached its end, the woman hurled verbal abuse at the driver again. She then demanded money for a refund, he said.

The passenger said: “It is not right. He was getting abuse for basically doing his job.

“We’ve still got Covid-19 around and bus drivers have worked all through the lockdown.”

The Bolton News:

The moment the passenger spat at the driver from the bus door

Unite regional officer Steve Davies said: “We can confirm that a bus driver, a member of Unite the union, working for Diamond Bus in Bolton, was spat at by a female passenger.

“We understand that the incident happened after the women offered a note in payment for a fare.

“But the bus company only accepts correct change for cash payments so no change is given to the customer to protect both parties and make contact as minimal as possible during to the coronavirus emergency.

“We strongly condemn such disgraceful behaviour against the bus driver who was only carrying out the new rules for fare collection that are designed to protect our 500 Diamond Bus worker members and the travelling public in Bolton from Covid-19.

“The company’s management is now carrying out a full investigation and once that has been concluded Unite will consider what further action is needed, if necessary.”

Diamond Bus has launched an internal investigation following the assault on its driver.

A spokesperson for the company said: “We are aware of an incident that occurred on Tuesday on one of our vehicles.

“We are currently holding an internal investigation into this incident, it is important in this current climate that our customers follow the Government guidelines.

“We have taken a number of steps to reduce the contact on board and we are pleased to say this is an isolated incident,” they added.