Call for answers over children left at wrong stop
2 February 2018, 15:11
A mother has told how her young children have been having nightmares after they were dropped at the wrong stop by the school bus.
Annie Buist, from Cardenden, is calling for answers following the incident in Fife.
She received an "awful phone call" at work telling her that her six-year-old daughter and five-year-old son were missing, and that police had been called.
It emerged the Stagecoach driver had dropped the children in the Dundonald area, about two miles from their usual stop, on January 17.
Fife Council described it as a "worrying" incident and said they had amended their practices while Stagecoach said they have worked with the council to introduce a new process.
Fife Council said they have taken action to address the issue.
Education officer Rona Maclean-Ross said: "This was a worrying incident and we want to ensure that both the council and the bus company learn from this.
"As a result, an amended bus driver checklist for all pupils boarding the school bus is now being filled out by the school to confirm children's drop-off points for the driver, in an additional attempt to ensure they do not miss any stops on their route.
"Stagecoach has also confirmed that, as an interim measure, their drivers will stop at every bus stop on this particular route until we are satisfied that the checklist is shown to work effectively.
"We appreciate the feedback we have had from parents following the incident. It has helped us to determine what additional guidance might be required.
"Information currently available for families of children with bus passes will be extended to include children who use school buses on a fare-paying basis."
David Frenz, operations director at Stagecoach East Scotland, said: "We were very concerned when this was brought to our attention and want to make sure that it cannot happen again.
"We have therefore worked with the council to introduce a new process which will help outline to our driver the pupils who are due to alight at each stop, and we are pleased that the council is contacting pupils to give them advice around travelling on the school bus.
"We have also tried to contact this particular pupil's family to reassure them that we have taken steps to prevent this situation arising again."