A 70-YEAR old army veteran claims he spent the night shivering in a recycling bin after a bus driver left him at a park and ride.
Henry Stewart, of Dundee, was on his way to see pals in Malta but missed out on his holiday in the sun after he was dumped at the wrong stop in the middle of the night just four days before Christmas.
He says he took refuge from freezing temperatures and howling gales by crawling inside an unlocked bin after the driver mistakenly told him there was a connecting bus to Edinburgh Airport.
He was on his way to Edinburgh Airport
The firm say CCTV calls into question his claim of hiding in the bin area at Halbeath, near Dunfermline in Fife, but admit he “disappeared” from cameras for three-and-a-half hours.
They say cameras show Mr Stewart eventually escaped the bus stop with a delivery driver at around 4am.
Mr Stewart, who served in the Black Watch, had boarded a bus going to Ingliston, Edinburgh, where buses connect to the airport, but was put off 15 miles away.
The pensioner, who also worked as a butcher, said: “I was supposed to be on my way to spend the festive period with friends in Malta but instead the driver just dumped me in the middle of a storm at Halbeath.
“It was freezing cold and the whole place was in total darkness.
“The strap on my holdall broke, wrapped around my ankle, and tripped me up. I had a cut on my nose and thought I’d broken it.
“The wind was horrendous. The trees were bending like rubber and the wind was tearing through the covered stance.
“I went around the back to get out of the wind, found an open bin and crawled inside.
“That’s how it happened. Why on earth would someone make that up?”
A spokeswoman for Citylink said: “We are very sorry for the difficulties mr Stewart experienced on his journey to the airport.
“This was due to an error made by a driver who was employed by a third party company which was operating on our behalf.
“We have raised the matter with the company involved and made clear our disappointment at the situations faced by Mr Stewart.
She added: “We are pleased to have been able to make arrangements for Mr Stewart to enjoy an extended trip to Malta.”