A DISABLED grandmother has alleged that she was subjected to racist abuse by a ticket inspector on a bus in Wallingford.

Bushera Ahmad claims she was called a ‘lying, thieving P**i’ while on a service between Oxford and Reading last week, as her daughter in law and two grandchildren – who are two, and two months old – watched on.

The 59-year-old says the inspector also confiscated her pass during the incident, on Thames Travel's X38 at around 5pm on Wednesday, January 9.

Mrs Ahmad, who was born in Pakistan and lives in Reading, says she had no issues boarding using her disability card, given to her by Reading Borough Council because she has one leg shorter than the other and quickly becomes fatigued.

The British national, who has been in the UK for more than 40 years, says the incident began when the driver stopped the bus ‘for a very long time’ in Wallingford, to speak to a woman at the bus stop, who then called for the ticket inspector.

The retired retail employee explained: “Upon coming aboard, I showed him [the inspector] my card. He said the picture did not resemble me.

“I explained that the card was mine, and was given to me by the council, as my doctor wrote a letter to ensure that I get this travel card.

“At this point the inspector became rude, calling me a ‘lying thieving P**i’, he said that I had stolen the card, that it was not mine, and he pocketed the card, refusing to give it back.

“He said that they would stop at the next stop, which was in the middle of nowhere, and that we would have to pay or get off.”

Mrs Ahmad then paid the fare, because it was cold and she was with young children.

She added: “My granddaughter understood what was happening - it’s 2019, neither me, nor my granddaughter, should be exposed to such racism. As a matter of fact no one should.

“I’d like to have my card back, and understand what was done with it. I’d also appreciate an apology and require a refund.”

Oxford's Shaista Aziz, a national equalities campaigner working on hate crime, said: “This is absolutely disgraceful and my thoughts go out to the family who must be shaken - and more so because young children witnessed this racial abuse.

"The bus company should investigate this matter thoroughly, provide a full, transparent response (and) review how it trains staff."

She continued: "Racism and bigotry is manifesting more openly due to the political climate and everyday people going about their lives are feeling the consequences. I applaud the family for reporting this and going public because we as a community and society need to urgently address racism.

"It is not enough for anyone to say that these incidents are one off - they aren’t."

Thames Travel spokesman Greig Box Turnbull said: “We are aware of the allegations and a full investigation is underway and CCTV will be examined. We understand a complaint is being made to police and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Police spokesman James Williams said the force was aware of the incident and investigating. He added: “Anyone who witnessed or has any information about the incident is urged to contact police. The easiest way is by visiting out thamesvalley.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/ or calling 101 (reference 43190009349).”