Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Late for school after number confusion
A COUNCIL has apologised after confusion led to pupils being stranded at a bus stop on their first day back at school after the summer holidays.
A bus did go past, but it had the wrong service number on it, so the children did not attempt to get on it.
In a letter sent to parents last week, Durham County Council said the 802 service, operated by Garnett’s, would make its first stop on the Watergate Estate at 8.21am yesterday.
There is also an 801 service which goes through Crook to collect pupils from Tow Law, and a parent said the Crook children know they are not supposed to get that bus.
Yesterday, the 801 service drove past them at 8.21am, but there was no 802 service following.
In the end a parent had to leave work to drive some of the children to school, meaning they arrived ten minutes late for their first lesson of the new term.
The parent, who asked not to be identified, said: “It’s ridiculous really because it has meant a whole load of hassle on the first day back after the holidays which is already stressful enough.
“It’s obviously a mistake, but it seems to be a silly one.
“My child was at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus was due just as the council asked, so it’s a bit annoying when it goes wrong from their end.”
Andy Leadbeater, sustainable transport manager at Durham County Council, said last night: “I would like to apologise for any inconvenience this has caused to both parents and pupils.
“There appears to have been a mix-up in transportation to St John’s School from Crook.
“There are two buses passing through the town on different routes, unfortunately the Watergate bus was numbered incorrectly so understandably the pupils didn’t realise that was the bus they had to get on. I can assure parents this was rectified for the afternoon service and the rest of the week.”