Driver to take rap for leaving girl stranded

A Norfolk Green bus.
A Norfolk Green bus.
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A bus company is considering disciplinary action against a driver for leaving a 15-year-old girl from Holbeach stranded in the countryside.

Richard Pengelly, Norfolk Green’s operations manager, told the Free Press on Friday the driver had “messed up” and had been called in for a meeting with him.

Chloe Halgarth caught the Norfolk Green bus from Spalding High School last Tuesday but was dropped off Gedney on the A17.

Angry grandfather Alan Evans said: “How could the driver leave a 15-year-old girl in the middle of nowhere. Goodness knows what could have happened.”

Mum Lindell Daffeh, who teaches in Peterborough, received a text from an anxious Chloe about 4.30pm. Lindell said: “She said ‘I don’t know where I am’. We used ‘Google Locate’ to get a postcode and find her. I had to pick her sister up from Spalding High then get over to Gedney.

“I’d told her to start walking because I didn’t think it was safe for her to just stand there. I finally got to her at 5.45pm – I wasn’t happy.

“It’s sorted now, but the timetable on the county council website is wrong. I do think the bus company and council need to get their act together.”

Mr Pengelly said he had apologised to both Mr Evans and Chloe’s mum for the incident. He said: “A request had been made for Chloe to get off at the Red Lion in Holbeach, but the driver didn’t think we went there.

“We take our responsibility for the children who travel with us seriously and accept that on this occasion we messed up, but the driver is being dealt with. It’s disappointing for us that our apology wasn’t enough.”