‘Adults push in front’ - Mum’s worries after new rules see daughter struggle to get on bus to school

PUBLISHED: 07:33 03 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:54 03 October 2020

A First Eastern Counties red line bus. Picture: Edward Starr

A First Eastern Counties red line bus. Picture: Edward Starr

Edward Starr Photographer

A mother is worried about the safety of her teenage daughter after she has been unable to get on buses for school due to social distancing.

Restaurant owner Amanda Rose, from New Costessey, said her 13-year-old, who attends Norwich’s Jane Austen College, has been late in and returned home late due to busy First red line buses not being able to carry her.

Ms Rose said her daughter is trying to get earlier buses from outside the Cherry Tree Pub on Dereham Road around 7.30am and trying alternate homeward bound stops in the city but the situation is making her daughter more anxious.

She said on one occasion the teenager, who starts school at 8.55am and finishes school at 3.30pm, came home “soaked” at 5.30pm after having to wait for a return journey.

First Eastern Counties said it was running relief buses to cope with demand, and asked people who can adjust travel times to do so to avoid peak journeys.

Ms Rose, who works full-time, said: “Since students have started going back to school post-Covid, with the problems of social distancing quite often mean she cannot get on the bus when she wants to. Sometimes adults push in front to get on before her and she is getting left at the bus stop. There is no priority for school children.

“Coming home is worse because now it is getting dark she is going to be in the city waiting at the bus stop on her own.

“She is really nervous about standing there not knowing when her bus is coming. She is not a confident child and the situation is making it a lot worse.

“I cannot take her in because of work and I’m feeling bad as a mum but a 13-year-old should be able to get on the bus to get to school. I feel terrible and guilty sometimes. It is a serious worry.”

MORE: Bus passengers urged to travel at different times as numbers are on the rise

Before lockdown the teenager went to and from the city for school on the bus with her 16-year-old sister, who left Jane Austen College in the summer.

David Jordan, First Eastern Counties marketing manager, said the Dereham Road route was busy between 7.30am and 8.30am

He said: “We are running additional relief buses along that corridor. We monitor the situation all the time. We ask passengers who can adjust the time they travel to avoid times when schools start. Help us so we can work together.”

He urged people to use the First Eastern Counties Space Checker technology which predicts how busy services will be.


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