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‘Anything could have happened to them’ - parents furious with bus driver who told their children to walk half a mile to school because of roadworks

PUBLISHED: 10:04 07 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:12 07 November 2017

Tina Potter and her son Callum who was made to walk to school after bus driver dropped children by Dereham Library due to roadworks.  Picture supplied by Tina Potter

Tina Potter and her son Callum who was made to walk to school after bus driver dropped children by Dereham Library due to roadworks. Picture supplied by Tina Potter

Tina POtter

Parents of children at a Dereham junior school are furious with a bus driver who reportedly dropped their children in the middle of town and made them walk half a mile to school unaccompanied due to roadworks.

The letter sent home by Dereham Church of England Junior Academy after a bus driver dropped children by Dereham Library due to roadworks.  Picture supplied by Tina PotterThe letter sent home by Dereham Church of England Junior Academy after a bus driver dropped children by Dereham Library due to roadworks. Picture supplied by Tina Potter

The bus, run by Freestone Coaches, was supposed to take children to the door of Dereham Church of England Junior Academy on Gilpins Ride, off Littlefields.

But instead, due to roadworks on Baxter Row on Monday morning, dropped the children, some as young as seven years old, at the roundabout by Dereham Library and said they would have to walk to school on their own.

One mum, Tina Potter, whose seven-year-old son Callum was among the children, said parents were extremely angry.

“There were no adults with them and anything could have happened to them,” she said.

The route children would have had to take to walk from Dereham Library to Dereham Church of England Junior Academy.  Image from Google MapsThe route children would have had to take to walk from Dereham Library to Dereham Church of England Junior Academy. Image from Google Maps

“I put Callum on the bus at Gordon Road near the train station and expect him to be taken to school, not dropped in town.

“Luckily they knew the way.

“The first I heard of it was a text from school at 3pm saying there was a letter in their book bags about it.”

The letter from academy support manager Sonja May said they had been in touch with Freestones and had told them that it was “completely unacceptable” of the bus driver.

She added: “We are confident that this will not happen again.”

This newspaper contacted Freestones for a comment but was not given any statement or offered their version of events.

Mrs Potter said: “We could not believe it, the bus was full of children and they would have had to cross several busy roads to get to school.

“Apparently the driver tried different routes but he could at least have parked the bus and walked them to school or called the school and asked them to send teachers out to accompany them.

She said she was assured by Freestones that there would be a different driver the following morning.

The roadworks are due to take three days and are being carried out by Norfolk County Council to repair a footway on the A1075 South Green.

The works have been causing some delays on the major routes through Dereham.

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