Mother left fuming as daughters are abandoned by bus driver
A MOTHER says she is fuming after her two young daughters were left abandoned at the side of a road at night after a bus driver, without any warning, stopped his vehicle and told passengers to get off. Belinda Curness, of Hydean Way in Stevenage, said her
A MOTHER says she is fuming after her two young daughters were left abandoned at the side of a road at night after a bus driver, without any warning, stopped his vehicle and told passengers to get off.
Belinda Curness, of Hydean Way in Stevenage, said her daughters, 12-year-old Natasha and 13-year-old Zoe, had been travelling home at about 9.30pm one evening when the incident happened.
"My girls were supposed to be getting a lift from their friend's mum, but her car broke down so I said to put them on the bus in Stevenage town centre and I'd meet them at the other end. I waited 45 minutes and they didn't turn up."
Natasha and Zoe had got on the number 5 Arriva bus but were told to get off at Oaks Cross because the service would not be continuing to The Hyde. An elderly woman with a zimmer frame, who also lives on Hydean Way, was among those left stranded.
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Arriva has withdrawn the 4 and 5 bus services from Hydean Way and Shephall Way in Stevenage after missiles such as rocks have been persistently launched at buses over the past few weeks.
But Ms Curness said her daughters were not told this when they got on the bus, and were frightened when they were asked to get off before they had reached their destination.
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"For them to walk home in the dark, knowing why they had been kicked off the bus, they were scared," she said. "They are not streetwise and they were really nervous, and they didn't have a mobile phone with them. They don't like to pop to the shops after 7.30pm because large gangs of youths gather at The Hyde."
Ms Curness said she understood why bus drivers do not want to drive to The Hyde. "There are huge problems down there. I'm originally from Tottenham and, quite honestly, I would feel safer going back there." But she is extremely concerned about the danger aspect of leaving passengers far from home. "It's not safe for drivers to drive their buses round there, but they are willing to let my children walk to The Hyde.
"I went home absolutely furious about it. There was no notification at the bus stops until two days later, and the bus driver didn't say anything to them when they got on the bus."
Ms Curness says she has written three letters of complaint to Arriva but has had no response as yet. A spokesman for Arriva said: "We haven't received anything from the lady at all.