Pupils 'left stranded' in heavy snow

AN investigation has been launched into claims that a school bus driver left young pupils stranded in heavy snow after apparently turning back during the morning run and leaving them at a bus stop.

Parents claim the driver of the E&M Horsburgh bus failed to report the U-turn to them, the school or the council, leaving the 12 pupils, aged from 7 to 11 years old, to fend for themselves.

Fortunately, a few of the youngsters, who all attend Kirkhill Primary School, Broxburn, in West Lothian, were carrying mobile phones and alerted parents to their plight on Monday morning.

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The bus left the village centre at 8.30am and dropped off some of the children two and a half miles away at St Nicholas RC Primary School in Broxburn.

However, it turned back to Dechmont, arriving at around 10am.

Shirley Park, whose sons Chris, 11, and Alexander, 8, were on the bus, came across the group walking down the main street in heavy snow, having been dropped off at the wrong stop. Mrs Park had only known about the U-turn because her niece Heather, 11, used her mobile to phone her.

She said: "My son had a scared rabbit look on his face. They'd been left to fend for themselves."

Under current regulations a bus driver must ensure any primary school children are left with a responsible adult, whether at school, with parents, or at a police station.

E&M Horsburgh failed to return calls for comment.

A West Lothian Council spokesman said: "We will investigate this incident, and take action as appropriate."