A dad has criticised Arriva after his daughters were left in tears over unreliable buses.

Dad-of-two Craig Brooker said his 11-year-old daughter and 14-year-old step-daughter were left in tears after their Arriva buses didn’t show up in High Wycombe. 

His concerns come only days after parents contacted the Free Press over repeated problems with school buses.

Craig said that for example service 11 through Totteridge Road where he lives often “doesn’t turn up.”

“And just now I’ve seen the bus go past with school children pressed against the yellow railing at the front. It’s dangerous, because it could distract the driver.”

Wednesday, November 8 was “the worst” for his 11-year-old, who waited for an hour without two buses showing up in Totteridge.

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“She was quite cold because it was raining, she’s about four foot and she’s never travelled on her own and she’s just getting used to it. She cried yesterday because she was worried she was going to get into trouble at school,” Craig said.

On Thursday, November 9, he had to pay for a taxi for his 14-year-old step-daughter after bus 3 didn’t show up in the evening.

“She was crying too,” he said.

He claimed the buses were often already full even before leaving the High Wycombe Bus Station.

He also said the buses appear delayed on the Arriva app until they “just disappear,” meaning the service that was due has been suddenly cancelled.

“How can it be a mechanical fault,” he asked, referring to Arriva’s reason for its cancelled school buses in Bourne End and Wooburn Green.

A spokesperson for Arriva South said: “We’ve been surprised and encouraged by the increase in the number of customers we’ve attracted on route 11 and we’ve been listening to our customers’ feedback and we’re working on implementing their suggestions from January 2024.

“Our buses are licensed to carry a number of people standing and our drivers will not allow any more customers than we are able to carry. We try our best to ensure that double-deck buses are placed on our busiest journeys, though we accept that this isn’t always possible.

“There’s no additional licence requirement to drive a double-deck bus and our drivers are highly trained and receive thorough route learning training. Arriva is constantly on the lookout for more great bus drivers to join our team, but this hasn’t been a factor in service delivery challenges in recent months.

“Punctuality has improved significantly on the High Wycombe to Penn service since the introduction of the new timetable in September, and we hope to boost this further with planned improvements coming soon.

“We’re actively addressing some of the service delivery challenges that some of our customers have experienced in recent weeks. We’re sorry for any delay to their journeys because of this, and please be assured that we’re working hard behind the scenes to resolve some unexpected safety-critical mechanical issues which take precedence as safety is our key priority.

“We’re also revaluating which journeys are our busiest since the new network commenced and will be looking to ensure the buses with most seating capacity are allocated to the busiest journeys.

“If customers wish to provide ideas for us to consider, we urge them to contact us as we’d really appreciate the feedback.”