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Daughter stranded by school coach

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My youngest girl who is just 15 goes to college one day a week on Henley, as part of her GCSE diploma course, & uses council provided transport to get there & back.

We live in a very small village about 6 miles from Henley & 8 from Reading in the other direction.

My eldest uses the same service for college every day,but was off sick yesterday.

 

In their wisdom the coach company sent out the coach yesterday afternoon with a new driver who didn't know the route, & he drove straight past the turn to my village. ....my girl didn't realise right away as she was in her post college stupor.

He was in central Reading before she realised & was told to get off....she asked to be taken to the depot,so she could call me to collect her,but the driver said no!

So she was left alone in central. Reading with no money & no phone (she told the driver this).

 

She walked to the train station, where she luckily got lent £1.20 by a kind stranger (wish she had taken their phone number) ,enough to get her to her boyfriends house,where she showed up later. Hos parents kindly dropped her home to us. I was beyond myself with worry for a good hour and a half until she could ring me,and was out driving looking for her.

 

 

Can't tell you how livid I am........the coach Co are calling me back when the driver gets in this morning.

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The coach driver has behaved very badly. He should at the very least have made sure that she could call you, to let you know the situation. I can't believe that he didn't have a mobile on him.

 

My DS frequently leaves his phone at home and rarely has any money on him despite the fact that we have always told our older two to keep £5 in their blazer pocket tucked away for emergencies. They travel 5 miles and 9 miles respectively to school every day on a pre-payed school coach, therefore if there is a problem they are supposed to have money and a phone, but being teenagers they don't always.

 

The coach driver must have been a teenager once upon a time. :twisted:

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That is a disgrace :shock: I had to phone the coach company that takes our children to school as he left the stop early even though he could see them running to the stop and the children already on the bus asked him to stop :evil: . We also had a driver that forgot he had my son still on the bus and carried on to his next run with him on board and dumped him 2 miles away :evil: I makes me so cross that these drivers don't do what they are paid to do which is to pick up and drop off at the right time in the right place. They seem to hate children and go out of their way to be awkward. It is no suprise that children don't behave for them half the time. On of our drivers opens the door to chuck his litter out in the village and swears at the children (there are some nice ones but they are few and far between) I would be absolutely hopping mad too. That driver needs a rip roaring ****%"~@ - wont say the word! Thank goodness she got home safely despite him.

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From what the coach company has said,he is new,& he didn't mention it when he got back to the depot.

With that info, & the fact that he said she couldn't come back to the depot,I can only conclude that he was scared of what his bosses would say :roll:

 

She does normally have a phone,but she is grounded with no privileges at the moment,so its been taken from her,& she normally has en emergency few pounds too,but it was half term last week & I forgot to replenish her :roll:

 

To make matters even worse,it was getting dark at the time she was dumped in Reading (5.30 ish), she had no coat & it was raining heavily.

 

 

I am actually very proud of the way she managed to get herself to a safe place - she even asked around in reading station at the shops to see if they would let her use a phone - they wouldn't & the public phones were all out of service :roll:

 

I have said that she could have found a Policeman maybe (bound to be one at the station) or reverse charged a phone call home....luckily she had our mobile numbers on a bit of paper in her pocket,as she usually just gets them from her phone!

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but we always tell our children if you are lost or scared go to a shop/public place, what good is it then if they dont help you... I find that disgusting and they should be ashamed of themselves, I honestly dont see how making a phone call would affect them in any way.

 

(I could go on, I am in a ranting mood, but I wont :lol: ) *mumble*

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But a big well done to the kind person who have her the £1.20 though. :clap:

 

I know, I wish I could track them down somehow :P

They are a real hero as far as I am concerned,& deserve a big pat on the back!

 

Re the shops - they all said that they had no phone for public use in the shop & the only phones available were the public ones,which were all broken :roll:

 

I will be getting on to the train station too :evil:

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That is appalling. It should be reported to the company, and you should ask to see their policies regarding mistakes in picking up or dropping children off. Hopefully the company will re-train the driver to sort out his attitude as well as to ensure he knows what to do in the event of a mistake.

 

At the very least, the driver had a legal duty of care to a child, and therefore should have left her in a position where she could get help or get home. She did very well to get home, but that wasn't the point - the driver should have taken steps to ensure she was safe and able to get help before leaving her. If this isn't the policy of the company, you have to ask why not? What Council places a contract with a company that has a policy not to take care of the children placed in its charge? It should be written into the contract that where a mistake is made the child is left in a place of safety, where they are able to get help to get home. I would have thought the company should pay for a taxi to take the child home under these circumstances.

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Just a thought - if the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction - the school should maybe be involved?

 

Thinking back to my days getting the school bus backwards and forwards - the school did get involved when there were a few incidents...

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Just a thought - if the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction - the school should maybe be involved?

 

Thinking back to my days getting the school bus backwards and forwards - the school did get involved when there were a few incidents...

 

Good thinking

 

It really is appalling that the coach driver left her in Reading, presumably he doesnt have any common sense or sense of duty :(

 

Well done to your girl for using her own common sense to get to a safe place :D

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I can imagine how worried you were. Too much of this goes on and "Ooops, word censored!"ody ever seems to take any blame for it. Don't public service transport staff get any training? You and your daughter really need a proper apology from the driver concerned.

A similar thing happened to me when I was 11. I got abandoned at the depot and had to walk five miles home in the rain. No mobiles then, my parents didn't even have a phone in the house. My father told me off for worrying my mother when he got home from work :oops::oops: I still remember it :(

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You and your daughter have been treated very badly by this bus company. Well done to your daughter for coping with several setbacks so sensibly.

 

Our village is served by a school bus with drivers who seem to dislike children. As my two don't qualify for free transport to school I would have to pay £3.40 per each child per day for them to use it. They would then have no flexibility about when they left school - something they need as they do loads of clubs.

 

We chose to have them use the public bus (£1.50 per child per day) which picks up on the outskirts of the village (1/2 a mile away) and drops in the centre of town (a bit over a mile from their school). The walk does them no harm although on dark rainy days with heavy book bags and gym kit they may disagree. I have been so pleased with the way the public bus drivers - many with a seemingly poor grasp of English - cope when my children have the wrong fare, lost their fare, lost their return ticket etc. :roll: They have never yet been stuck in town, unable to get home.

 

I would have thought that a school bus, laid on by a local authority to transport children, would have a duty of care. I would definately contact the school about the way your daughter has been treated.

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Quick update.

 

The owner of the coach company just rang to apologise. He says the driver called him last night as he was concerned about my daughter (bit late really!)

 

I have a bit more of a clear picture of what happened too.

 

Apparently there were only 6 pupils on the coach that evening,& it was the drivers first day on the route. So he asked the pupils which stops he needed to do & which he could miss out....unfortunately my girl has her ipod in & didn't hear him ask this, but either way he should have stuck to the designated route!

As our village is on a village road off of the main road,he just carried on along the main road it seems.

BUT,he says that he did go through my village,but Cleo is totally adamant that he did not, so I am going to ask some of the others who were on the coach if I can :?

 

Its a definite case of her word against his unless I can get some clarification from the others who were on the coach too. Its a shame my eldest was off that day :roll:

 

He also told his boss that he offered to drop the Reading pupils off,turn round & bring her back to the village - Cleo is totally adamant that he didn't do this at all - she says he asked her to get a public bus home from Reading to here,& that she told him she didn't have any money or know the bus route number.

 

I am going to put all this into a letter to the coach company,the school & the SODC who provide the coach, & see what response I get :?

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What a nightmare, but well done to Cleo for managing to get home though and what a nice person to give her the money, (Brings back faith in humankind).

 

I can't understand why none of the shops would let her use the phone and find that a bit shocking really. If I had a business and she'd explained the situation I would have let her, it would only have been a local call and not cost a lot.

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