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Lawyer takes on bus firm that rejects Scottish bank note

Posted by: Laurence Simons 21/01/15

A bus company has been left to take 'note' of what constitutes legal currency by a Scottish lawyer based in Yorkshire. Before last year's Scottish independence referendum, much of the debate focused on whether Scotland could continue using the pound if it split from the UK.

However, many Scots have been left to lament that even now they sometimes find Sterling notes printed by the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland and the Clydesdale Bank are not accepted in some places in England, despite being perfectly legal currency.

In one recent case, however, a bus firm clearly picked the wrong target after refusing payment from the parents of a lawyer.

Anne Glen tore into Aviva for its actions after one of its bus drivers refused a Scottish £10 note proffered by her parents when boarding the vehicle in West Yorkshire on Christmas Eve, the Yorkshire Evening post.
The octogenarians from Glasgow were visiting their daughter for the festive season when they were caught out, with the driver telling them "I don't take that" when he saw the note. The pair decided to leave the bus rather than "make a scene" as there was a queue, Ms Glen told the paper.

Suffice to say, the partner at  Grahame Stowe Bateson soon had the bus company on the carpet. She said: “I have insisted that they are given a written apology. They (Arriva) have said sorry and have offered travel vouchers.” Arriva told the news provider that it it breaches company policy not to accept Scottish notes and the driver in question will be made fully aware of this. It has promised to investigate.

Of course, with Scottish company Stagecoach running bus services all over the UK, those bringing Scottish bank notes with them onto their buses should have no fear.

According to the Committee of Scottish Bankers, Scottish notes are indeed legal currency throughout the UK, though not 'legal tender' in the strict sense (tender being connected with the payment of debt).
Interestingly, its advice to members of the public is that while they are generally accepted elsewhere in the UK, "you should not rely absolutely on Scottish notes being accepted outside Scotland and this is particularly true when travelling abroad".