Police investigating Stagecoach bus incident

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Grampian police have told PinkNews.co.uk that they are investigating an incident on a bus involving a gay couple.

It was reported on Sunday that two gay teenagers were threatened with ejection from a bus and then made to sit separately after a fellow passenger complained about their behaviour.

Steven Black, 16, and Mark Craig, 19, were travelling on the bus from Aberdeen to Old-meldrum, Aberdeenshire. The route is operated by Stagecoach.

Mr Black told the paper that he merely had his arm across Mr Craig’s shoulder.

“I have never been so humiliated in my life. I just can’t believe we are still made to feel like second-class citizens,” he told the Sunday Mail.

Today Stagecoach remained unapologetic about the incident, and backed the actions of the driver.

“We have carried out a thorough investigation into this complaint,” said Steven Stewart, director of corporate communications for the Stagecoach group.

“This has involved interviewing the driver and reviewing CCTV footage from the vehicle.

“It is clear that the driver warned two passengers about the nature of their behaviour following a complaint from a fellow passenger.

“We are 100% satisfied that the driver acted professionally at all times.

“We have been happy to provide a copy of the CCTV footage to the police as part of their ongoing investigation.”

He accused the media and members of the public who have complained about the incident of not knowing the full facts of the case.

Mr Stewart said that Stagecoach bus drivers get diversity training which includes “the type of situations they would face in terms of carrying different people.”

He did not know if that training specifically addresses LGBT issues but stressed that the company does not discriminate in any way.

“Our training programme, employee guidelines and codes of conduct all make clear our commitment to high standards of customer service, including in relation to diversity issues,” said Mr Stewart.

“A central principle of the training is that all customers – as well as employees – are treated equally and with dignity and respect, regardless of their background.

“Our driver handbook also stresses that no customer should receive less favourable treatment because of gender, gender re-assignment, sexual orientation or any other grounds.”

A spokesperson for Grampian police told PinkNews.co.uk that an investigation was ongoing after a member of the public complained, but refused to reveal what the investigation focuses on.

“Grampian police can confirm that we received a complaint from a member of the public following an incident on a bys n the A947 from New Macher to Oldmeldrum,” he said.

He could not confirm or deny a statement from Stagecoach that “the police have indicated they are satisfied with the driver’s account of the incident and are taking no action against him,” as the investigation is ongoing.