Trauma tales of desperate dashes home

Businesses and families across Northampton have been caught out by the volcanic ash which has grounded flights for the last five days. Here's just a few of the stories we've heard at Heart.

Britt Cordi and her family are travelling over a thousand miles through Germany, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands after their flight from Poland was cancelled. Britt, who owns a wheatgrass company, decided to make the journey to get her six year-old son back to school.

"We decided to look for alternatives to get back as soon as possible and thought that trains were impossible because it's so many countries to go through," she said, "So then we decided to go by bus, but obviously other people have thought the same so that was possible. Now finally we've decided to borrow a car."

It's not just Britt's son who's affected. Her business is waiting on a delivery of a £5,000 blender which is stuck in the USA.

Meanwhile, 18 students from Abbyfield school have been left stranded in Gambia after a school trip. They were due to fly back on Friday but are still waiting to here when a new flight will become available.

Although the students have been working each morning on their extended trip, headteacher Mark Griffin says they need to be back to study for their exams. The school has sent extra funds to Gambia so the student's all have a daily allowance and extra medicine such as malaria tablets.

Not everyone's lost out though. Northampton-based taxi firm Amber Cars has been booked for a few extra-long journeys to pick up stranded passengers.

One of their first jobs saw them take a group of seven businessmen to Geneva in Switzerland. They forked out £1,200 for the 650-mile journey - that's just for the cost of the drivers. They also had to stump up for the fuel and Channel crossings.

They've now been asked to make 1,000-mile trip to pick up a family from Spain and take them back to their home in Roade. The journey will cost £1,500 for the four adults and three children.

Despite the costly trips Carl Berryman, from Amber Cars, says he reckons that they've lost out on about 40 airport runs.