Children left stranded at bus stops
A Timaru mother is furious her children have been left stranded by the Timaru Link bus three times this month.
The first incident happened about two weeks ago when one of her children was waiting for the bus on Usk St.
The mother, who wishes to be known only as Tracy, raised the issue with Ritchies Transport Holdings, which runs the service.
She said she was assured it would not happen again, but it did - twice.
The second incident happened at the same stop on September 9 and the third on September 13, at the bus stop near the Pages Rd and Selwyn St roundabout.
On the third occasion Tracy saw the bus on her way to pick up her stranded children, so approached the driver on the issue.
"That probably wasn't the best thing to do, but I was a woman scorned that someone had left my kids on the side of the road for a third time. I don't think it's acceptable," she said.
"I was fuming - like wild."
She said the service was great when it worked and had been perfect for teaching her children independence.
However, her two youngest were now fearful of being left on the side of the road, she said.
"It's a big thing to catch the bus by yourself."
Tracy said she contacted Ritchies after each incident.
On each occasion she was treated fairly over the phone and felt satisfied she had got her point across.
The problem had occurred only when the children were trying to get home, not trying to get to school.
"It's a great service as long as it works properly and they stop and pick my kids up. I'm trying to teach my kids confidence, but it's blown their confidence."
Ritchies Transport Holdings operations manager Denise Brown said the issue had been raised with the drivers.
"All bus drivers have been told to stop regardless at those stops now so that won't happen."
She said at times it was difficult for drivers to determine who was and was not waiting for the bus.
In some instances children rest at the bus stop, but do not necessarily want to catch the bus.
She said other children wanting to catch the bus do not stand at an obvious part of the bus stop.
The Pages Rd and Selwyn St roundabout stop was also difficult for drivers to use with people parking their cars too close to the bus bay, she said.
The service has been running since the start of the school term.
"It takes a bit of time to get this stuff perfect.
"Apart from that, it's been going brilliantly. It just happens to be a really unfortunate thing."
- © Fairfax NZ News