A Belfast bus company has been forced to apologise after a driver was heard complaining there were ‘too many bum-busters’ on the road.

The man, who has not been named, made the slur in a conversation with his supervisor over an open radio network last Saturday, during the city’s Pride parade, and repeated it when challenged by other drivers.

His remarks were heard by passengers, other drivers and Translink bosses.

A whistleblower contacted BBC Radio Ulster’s Stephen Nolan Show, and added that the driver has merely received a ‘slap on the wrist’.

A Translink spokesperson later apologised on Thursday, saying: ‘We would like to apologise to our passengers and staff, following an incident on Saturday 1 August where a Metro driver used offensive language over Translink’s open radio network.

‘We take incidents of this nature very seriously and we expect all our staff to deal with their passengers and colleagues in a friendly, helpful and professional manner at all times.

‘A full investigation has been carried out and appropriate action is being taken.’

An e-petition has been started to ask David Strahan, Group Chief Executive of Translink NI, and John Trethowan, The Chairman of the Board of the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company, to sack the driver.