Fury as schoolboys left stranded
AN ANGRY dad today spoke of his fury after his son and a schoolfriend were left stranded 200 miles from their Suffolk homes.Stuart Edgar and Daniel Alderson had gone on a half-term trip to Alton Towers theme park, but as they approached the coach 35 minutes late the driver drove off leaving them behind.
AN ANGRY dad today spoke of his fury after his son and a schoolfriend were left stranded 200 miles from their Suffolk homes.
Stuart Edgar and Daniel Alderson had gone on a half-term trip to Alton Towers theme park, but as they approached the coach 35 minutes late the driver drove off leaving them behind.
Despite claims passengers asked the driver to stop, which are denied by the coach company, the bus moved on taking the 16-year-old boys' coats and Stuart's mobile phone with it.
Stuart's dad Alan said he was concerned what would have happened if his son had not been sensible and the security guards at the theme park had not looked after the two youngsters.
"It would have been an ordeal for an adult! Alton Towers is in the middle of nowhere with no chance of public transport.
"Who knows who hangs around a site of particular attraction to children?"
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The boys say they were delayed because they had to pick up their photographs.
The Halloween Special to Alton Towers had been organised by Mendlesham-based Galloway Travel.
Mr Edgar claimed the passengers had been told that the coach was scheduled to depart at 5.15pm and that the coach driver would not wait longer than an hour for missing passengers after that time.
But as the two boys, who are Deben High School pupils, approached the coach at 5.50pm the coach left. The driver subsequently said he had not seen the pair coming towards the bus.
"Stuart's quite sensible for his age, but I had visions of driving up there and it would have taken until 11 o'clock." said Mr Edgar, of Sunningdale Drive, Felixstowe.
Alton Towers' security picked the boys up and waited with them until a friend's dad, who was working in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, at the time, came to pick them up from the theme park near Stoke-on-Trent.
They then stayed the night at the friend's house before returning home.
Mr Edgar has complained to the company about the incident on October 24 and has submitted a complaint to the Confederation of Passenger Transport which is a national association representing UK bus and coach operators.
The commercial director of the Galloway Travel Group, John Miles, said: "The matter was fully investigated and findings relating to two adult passengers were expressed in our letter to the complainant."
In the letter to Mr Edgar Galloway Travel said that the missing passengers were listed as adults and that after the driver contacted the company's office he was given clearance to leave without the boys.
The driver also denied seeing the boys as he was leaving the theme park but in the letter it was claimed that he had suffered 'considerable abuse' from a number of passengers.