A mother from Buckinghamshire has become fed up with a bus company after her son was left 'standing out in the cold' for days on end.

Claire Madden, 44, who lives in Flackwell Heath and whose son is a pupil in High Wycombe, has become increasingly frustrated following a decline in the school bus service between Bourne End and Marlow Hill, leaving children "standing day after day out in the cold". 

Claire said the unreliable service, which was taken over by commercial operator Arriva in 2022, hit a "scandalous" new low this month (January 2024), with her son waiting 20 minutes at the bus stop before returning home to ask for a lift "every day of the week".

She added: "He had to get a late pass at school because he was getting detentions after waiting for ages in the cold. 

"We're paying upfront for this service and what we're getting in return is just inadequate. It's so frustrating. You'll have a month or so where it works, and you're supposed to be grateful for that but it never lasts.

"The other big issue is the environment. We're always encouraged to stop the traffic build-up on Daws Hill, but when the bus doesn't turn up you have all these parents scrambling to get to the school gate in time.

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"Even apart from that, it discourages independence for our children - I always went to school by the local bus." 

Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport at Buckinghamshire Council said: “We understand that on occasion buses can run late or timetables experience disruption, however consistent issues, particularly with school buses, are of concern to the council.

“We have raised this with Arriva, reminding them of the responsibility to provide a reliable service for residents and young people using the route to get to and from school.”

Chris Burley, Area Director for Arriva South, said: “We recognise we’ve not been performing as well as we’d want to and as well as our customers deserve with this service.

“We are really sorry for this, and I want to reassure our customers that we are working hard to address it.

“We’ve got support from senior managers, and we’re working on operational and engineering challenges. We are prioritising getting pupils to and from school on this route and we’re grateful to customers for their patience.”