A spokesperson for the panel of bus operators in Southend has announced that all buses within the borough will stop accepting cash from August 2016 – the announcement comes after a local bus driver suffered a horrific coin injury while using a toilet in Shoeburyness. Exact details of an Oyster-style ‘smart card’ scheme will be announced shortly, but many passengers have slammed the decision as a ‘ridiculous overreaction.’

A source within the town’s bus industry spoke EXCLUSIVELY to Southend News Network earlier this morning. He said: ‘One of our drivers terminated his route by East Beach in Shoeburyness, and he removed his coin holder so that he could use the gentleman’s public toilet – this is standard operating procedure. As he was unfastening his trousers, the full coin holder slipped out of his hands and landed on his right foot. The impact shattered virtually every bone below his ankle, and there is now a very real chance that he will never drive a bus again. Bus drivers need a fully-functioning right foot to ensure that they can bring the vehicle to a sharp standstill when they see that an elderly passenger has left their seat before arriving at a bus stop after all.’

He added: ‘After a meeting of the Southend Bus Union, an emergency proposal was put forward to remove all cash and coins from buses so that drivers can carry out their duties in absolute safety. Our members have been telling the public for years that paying with too many coins could get someone killed, or worse. How many more schoolchildren and single mums do we need to eject from our buses until the message gets through?’

Clive Hassle is chairman of the Octopus Commission – the organisation responsible for all-operator bus ticketing in Southend. He said: ‘After the tragic events in Shoeburyness yesterday, I can confirm that contactless smart cards will come into operation in August 2016. We have a few minor issues to deal with first of all, and our main concern is that passengers will find it too easy and convenient to jump from one bus company to another. However, we are going to ensure that the electronic cards can only be loaded with money in a limited amount of retail outlets, and absolutely no ticket machines will be placed at bus stops in case the machine operator drops the coin holder on their feet.’ 


  1. London buses don’t accept cash payments (indeed many bus operators don’t). Their Oyster card readers are deliberately fixed to the bus making it difficult for drivers to take them into the toilets so such accidents simply cannot happen.