A MOTHER was left “disgusted” after getting into a heated argument with a bus driver because she did not have the correct change for her bus ticket.

Zoe Hopkins, from Canvey, was taking her young son to school on Wednesday when she attempted to get on a First Bus service.

She said: “When I got on the bus, I only had a £20 note and I said to the driver ‘I’m really sorry but that’s all I’ve got’ and he just proceeded to be really rude to me.

“He was moaning and swearing at me in front of all the passengers, my little boy and other children telling me he wasn’t happy. I didn’t have my bank card on me so couldn’t pay by card and just told him I was sorry and there was nothing I could do because I had to take my son to school.”

Ms Hopkins said the heated exchange went on for about ten minutes, with the driver dismissing other passengers’ offers to pay with the correct change.

The tickets came to £5.50 and the bus driver gave Ms Hopkins the change in pound coins and a £5 note.

She said: “I did challenge him and say ‘so you did have the change then’ and that’s when he just started going mental at me - swearing and screaming in front of my child. When I told him he couldn’t speak to me like that, he said I would never be allowed on the bus again.”

The mother said the driver insulted her because she was from Canvey and told her she didn’t look like she had a job.

Ms Hopkins filmed the exchange on her phone and told the driver she would show the film to his manager. The incident has left her and her son shaken and she wants an apology.

She added: “I was disgusted and really angry because me being from Canvey has nothing to do with it. It’s had a lasting effect on both me and my son - I am nervous to use the bus service now.

“When we got home, my little boy was upset because he thought the police were going to come and take me away.”

First Essex said all complaints were taken seriously and that an investigation had been launched.

A spokesman added: “Our drivers are trained to a very high standard to deliver the best possible service to all customers at all times. We will be very disappointed if it is found that our driver has not delivered the level of service we expect and we will take the appropriate action required to put the situation right.”