Driver stops bus and leaves girl, 13, stranded in Pewsey
Updated 1:03pm Friday 15th August 2014 in By Barry Leighton
Furious father Andrew Mundy has slammed a Wiltshire bus service as a disgrace after the driver suddenly stopped work and told passengers to wait an hour for the next one to come along.
Several passengers were “turfed off” the Salisbury Reds vehicle in Pewsey while people waiting at the bus stop were also informed that he wasn’t driving any further, said Mr Mundy.
One of those waiting at the stop for the X5 Salisbury to Marlborough service was Mr Mundy’s 13-year-old daughter Freya.
After being forced to hang around a further hour in Pewsey the youngster missed her dental appointment in Marlborough while others on the bus were also left stunned and angry at being so late.
Mr Mundy, 49, of Pewsey, said: “This is absolutely unacceptable. To turf passengers off the bus and tell them to wait an hour is incredible. It’s almost impossible to believe that this should be allowed to happen.”
Freya was in a queue of people waiting for the 12.30pm Salisbury Reds bus in Pewsey last Friday.
Mr Mundy said the bus arrived at 12.45pm whereupon the driver, much to everyone’s disbelief, off loaded all of the existing passengers.
He told them and those waiting to board that he had “gone over his hours” and that he was terminating the service.
“All that the passengers were told was that another bus will be along – in an hour.”
Freya was supposed to meet her mother Claire in Marlborough before going onto the dentist’s.
“She missed the appointment which I know I will be charged for,” said Mr Mundy.
He said there were several “verbal exchanges” between some of the passengers and the driver but that he was adamant that he wouldn’t drive any further.
Mr Mundy, the manager of an electronic installation company, said: “People rely on public transport to get to where they need to be on time. How many other people using that service had appointments or meetings and were late and didn’t make them?
“What really frustrates me is that there doesn’t seem to be any redress or any responsibility. They do it and expect people to accept it. And yet we are told by local authorities and the transport companies themselves that we should use public transport. Public transport – more like a public joke.”
It is the second time in recent months that the Salisbury Reds X5 service has been slammed by an angry parent after being unexpectedly terminated in Pewsey.
In May, Lorna Pollard said her 22-year-old special needs son Dane had to walk five miles home to Oare after the driver said he was terminating the 6.30pm service because there were no passengers on board in Pewsey.
Ms Pollard said: “I was furious because I rely on the bus to keep him safe and bring him home from work.”
Andrew Sherrington, Salisbury Reds operations manager, said: “I am aware of an incident recently, where some of our passengers were asked to leave the Salisbury Reds X5 bus at Pewsey.
“We pride ourselves on the high level of service we provide here in Wiltshire and I am concerned when any of our customers are unhappy.
“In view of this, we are conducting a full internal investigation to determine the reasons behind this event.
“We will also take the opportunity to make improvements to our communications about this service – and ensure that customers are kept fully informed of any route or timetable updates.”
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