Fury as pupils kicked off bus

FURIOUS parents have hit out after children as young as 11 years old left their school bus and were told to walk home along a country road.A bus driver has been disciplined following the incident on a remote road in rural Suffolk.

FURIOUS parents have hit out after children as young as 11 years old left their school bus and were told to walk home along a country road.

A bus driver has been disciplined following the incident on a remote road in rural Suffolk.

The sobbing youngsters were told to walk more than two miles home along dark country roads after their school bus broke down.

Now angry mum Jan Chapman has demanded an apology from First Eastern Counties after her 12-year-old daughter was stranded.


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An apparent suspension fault on the bus left young children sobbing in fear as the full double decker bus tilted to one side during their journey from Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge to Bawdsey.

Finally the bus driver stopped after many appeals from the passengers and the children were told to get off the bus in Shottisham.

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"The bus driver could have rung for another bus, I think it's very dangerous," said Mrs Chapman who was worried for her daughter's safety as her two mile walk home to Alderton had been in a secluded area with open fields.

"Some of the children were sobbing, I just think it's disgusting.

"It's a prime area," said Mrs Chapman for children to be abducted. "There's no houses, it's all fields, it just takes two seconds for a child to fall in a ditch."

The nightmare journey started on the number 83 Eastern Counties bus from Ipswich to Bawdsey when children got on the bus at Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge.

"They pulled on to the A12 when they went through the first roundabout, it made a funny noise and didn't seem too good," said Mrs Chapman, of The Street, Alderton.

"One of the children went up to the driver and said the children are getting concerned.

"As the journey went on it got worse and the young children were getting more distressed as the bus was tipped over more."

Her daughter, Rebecca, said: "The bus started tilting, by that time a boy asked the bus lady to stop.

"The boy asked quite nicely to stop because some of the year sevens were getting panicky. She carried on, some started hyperventilating."

As the female driver would not stop, the children started ringing the bell and opening the emergency door to attract her attention.

The driver stopped the bus in Shottisham and told all the children to get off the bus.

Mrs Chapman nervously waited at home as the minutes ticked by when her daughter did not turn up.

Rebecca got off the bus at 4.20pm and arrived home at 5.15pm after walking up to two miles before being picked up by an alerted parent in a car.

Fred Mantripp, General Manager for First Eastern Counties in Ipswich, said, "This is a deeply concerning incident. 

The driver said the children could either stay with the bus or walk.  Actually the driver should have done everything to persuade the children to stay with the bus until a replacement could be delivered. 

Under no circumstances should the bus driver have even suggested to the children that they walk.

"It is company policy that no children are left at the roadside, night or day and as a result of our own investigation into the incident disciplinary procedures were underway the following morning. 

"While we cannot divulge the details of any action we are taking a serious and severe view of this. 

"Safety is our priority and we apologise unreservedly to the children, the parents and the school."

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