Late bus driver leaves 11 year old girl in the dark two miles from home

November 8, 2010 | by | 2 Comments

A girl of 11 was ordered off a bus two miles from home in pitch darkness – because the driver was running late.

Eleanor Elston was abandoned at the roadside after being told the service was being terminated.

She stood in the dark for 30 minutes waiting for another bus until mum Denise came to collect her.

Her dad Andy, 44, of Exeter, Devon, accused Stagecoach of a ‘dereliction of duty’ by putting their daughter in danger.

He said: ”I’m absolutely outraged that Stagecoach think it acceptable to leave a young girl on her own at the side of the road in the pitch black.

”He turfed her off because he was running a few minutes late. She was stranded two miles from home in a part of town that I really don’t think a young girl should be walking alone.

”I’ve had no real explanation or apology from Stagecoach about why they feel it acceptable to put a young girl in danger like this.”

Eleanor, who attends St Peter’s High School in Exeter, caught the D Service bus home after a netball session finished at 5.30pm on November 3.

But half way through the 40 minute journey the driver suddenly halted the service near the city’s university campus.

He told Eleanor and two adult passengers they had to get off because he was late and would not be completing the route.

Despite asking the driver to continue as she would have to walk the remaining two miles, she was ordered off and told to catch another bus which would be along in half an hour.

Her worried mum Denise, 44, phoned Eleanor when she failed to arrive home and had to catch another service to collect her.

Eleanor said: ”I’d just finished netball and it was quite late and quite dark so I was annoyed I was left on my own.

”There were only a couple of street lights, so it was quite eerie. And I was worried that another bus may not come.”

Telecommunications consultant Andy, who spends £70 a term on a bus pass for Eleanor, added: ”The bus service is in chaos.

”Two adults walked off as they obviously lived nearby but for Eleanor this shouldn’t really be an option. A young girl should not be made to walk in the dark alone home.

”The bus was hopelessly out of time. But this isn’t the fault of my daughter.”

Stagecoach spokesman said: ”The safety of our customers – and in particular children and other vulnerable people people – is our top priority.

”Clearly, in this instance something has gone wrong and we have launched an immediate investigation to ensure that it does not happen again.

”In addition we would like to work with both Mr Elston and his daughter in order to restore their confidence in our services.

”With regard to our revised D service it is fair to say it is a victim of it’s own success, and has been overwhelmed with the increased number of passengers using it.

”Unfortunately this, in turn, has had an impact on it’s reliability.”

Mr Elston said: ”Stagecoach are not victims of their own success but the architects of their own downfall and bad management.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The driver needs a slap. What an idiot! Why cannot people look at these things sensibly? How would he feel if someone did this to his own child?

    • OM Saigal says:

      Agreed with Anonymous, if he gets trouble it is his own fault for losing his unhappy sitting-down driving post……We remember children disappear in lonely places……

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