Mushrooms found growing on a First bus during 'nightmare journey'
A NEWLYN man said he saw mushrooms growing under a seat on a "damp and cold" First bus to Truro earlier this month, as he went on a nightmare journey to see his wife perform in a charity concert.
Jeremy Schanche, with his elderly mother and three-year-old daughter, Flora, said he was travelling with his wife, Stella, to see her play the piano at the city's cathedral on Friday, January 3.
He said that the party had started their journey on a train but a signal failure and long delays had meant they were advised to take a replacement bus, though they were then told it "wasn't going anywhere soon".
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Fearing they would not arrive for the concert's noon start the group decided to board another First bus, although the service was running 40 minutes late, said Mr Schanche.
"There was so much confusion, but people were just happy to be on something moving," he said.
"I noticed the seats were damp to the touch. Luckily, I was wearing waterproof trousers, as my arthritis flares up in the damp. There was no heating on at all.
"Looking up at the ceiling, it was bulging down in numerous places, apparently caused by water damage, presumably from a small hole in the roof. On both sides of the aisle water was running back and forth, like in the bilges of a boat."
Mr Schanche noted a cigarette stubber on the back of a seat – an indication of how old the vehicle was – and said it came as no surprise when it broke down near Camborne.
He said the driver told passengers it was the third bus to break down that day. After another bus was called, the group just got to the concert in time.
Mr Schanche does not understand why the transport is so poor and questions where the money raised by recent price rises is going.
"When it broke down we noticed just how terrible the bus was. During the delay I had time to observe three mushrooms growing under the back seat," he said.
"The other bus was still very wet and damp. To have buses in that state makes it very obvious that they're not doing maintenance or checking them."
A First spokesperson said the vehicle is set to be taken off the road for a deep clean and that ticket prices changed two days after the incident.
The person added: "We regret the disruption and inconvenience caused by this incident and are grateful for the detail provided by the complainant. We will have the vehicle in question thoroughly checked by our maintenance staff."