A 16-year-old Chesham Grammar School pupil criticised Carousel Buses after a no-show bus left him stranded after school. 

The teenager has travelled on the number one bus service from his home in Hemel Hempstead to Chesham Grammar School for the past five years, and made a list of worrying incident over the years.

These alleged incidents include bus drivers being involved in fights, drivers reportedly overcharging customers and shouting at them, and the bus dropping the student off at wrong stops as buses went the wrong way.

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In the more severe examples, the student was allegedly left on the side of A416, which has sections with 60mph speed limit, a bus hit a tree and a bus allegedly dragged an Audi on Bovingdon High Street before the driver kicked the student and his peers off the bus to make their own way home.  

The bus misses the Chesham Grammar School bus stop regularly, he claimed.

He said: “Our message is that everyone else on other buses is getting home on time and especially with many of us in exam periods, when the bus company itself is choosing to run such a route and profit of us, it can’t just leave us stranded on a weekly basis, fail to compensate or apologise for its dismal service and then lie to us it will improve its service which it still has failed to do." 

On Wednesday May 6, the bus missed the Chesham Grammar School stop, and had to drop off the students in Chesham town centre.

He said: “The bus company never apologies nor explains this.”

On the same Wednesday evening, the student was forced to pay £15 – more than 12 times his bus fare - for a taxi to get home safely after the bus failed to turn up again, he said.

“Some people went to town as another bus comes at 5:30pm, but that was also cancelled again!”

In messages between the company and the student, the Carousel operations manager said the driver “failed to service CGS stop due to misreading their duty board and we have addressed this matter internally.”

He has contacted the bus company every year “but the service quality seems to of got worse - I remember in 2017 such incidents still occurred but the bus seemed more reliable.”

While he was offered a £2 voucher as a “gesture of goodwill” for the most recent incident, he wants the company to apologise, commit to improvements or just acknowledge the problems.

Phil Southall, Carousel Buses Managing Director said: “We always seek to respond to any customer comments in a timely way and encourage people to contact us as soon as possible to allow us to investigate and respond.

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 “Carousel Buses delivers a great service generally, but we are experiencing a shortage of staff, as are many bus operators in the UK as we emerge from the pandemic.

"This has caused a small number of journeys to be delayed or cancelled recently and we are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

“Please be assured we are working hard to attract new employees into bus driving via initiatives like new starter bonuses, increased pay rates and modern working patterns.

The student has complained to the Traffic Commissioner, who doesn’t have powers to investigate, but who suggested they could pass on his complaints to the DVSA.

In April, the number one bus service on the route High Wycombe-Chesham-High Wycombe was cancelled due to “operational reasons” 45 times.

On April 27 alone, six buses from High Wycombe to Chesham and six from Chesham to Wycombe were cancelled.

Please email noora.mykkanen@newsquest.co.uk if you've been impacted by bus cancellations in Bucks.