School trip misery after Northern Rail leaves 30 young children stranded at Morecambe bus stop

Thirty youngsters were left disappointed at a bus stop after their rail replacement service failed to turn up to take them on a school trip.
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The Great Wood School pupils – all aged five and six – waited at the Bare Lane bus stop for 50 minutes on Thursday morning for a service that never showed up.

Their teacher desperately contacted Northern Rail to find out what had happened to the replacement service for a cancelled train.

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Mrs Lee’s class was due to spend the morning at the Judge’s Lodgings in Lancaster learning about toys of the past.

Disappointed Great Wood schoolchildren and teachers who had to miss their trip.Disappointed Great Wood schoolchildren and teachers who had to miss their trip.
Disappointed Great Wood schoolchildren and teachers who had to miss their trip.

Parent helper Jane Gill said: “The children were so good and patient waiting. We were so proud of them.”

Mrs Lee had to abandon the trip as the class were too late for their booked session – which was the culmination of work completed this term.

The day before, Mr Lockett’s class had managed to go on their trip after also having to use a rail replacement service due to a cancelled train.

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Because of this, Mrs Lee had checked ahead and knew she’d be taking the children on a replacement bus and so the children had been asked to arrive early to make sure they didn’t miss it.

After she finally spoke to a Northern Rail representative, Mrs Lee said: “I was being given every excuse, but with 30 children waiting by the side of the road, no excuse was good enough.”

Great Wood School is close to Bare Lane railway station.

Headteacher John Ross said: “We make a special effort to get children out of school on local trips and try to use public transport for trips to Morecambe and Lancaster but the trains have become increasing unreliable.

"It is also difficult for former pupils who live in the area and attend schools in Lancaster when both the train and the replacement bus service don’t run.

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"I am hoping that Northern Rail understand the responsibility they have to maintain a service and the impact on everyone’s plans when they fail.

"Although the children were patient, they were really disappointed, the parent helpers had taken time off work, the PTA and parents had paid for the transport and activities. What can they say?”

Craig Harrop, regional manager at Northern, said: “We are sorry the experience that the pupils and teachers had while using our service this week.

“Unfortunately two of the rail replacement buses broke down on the morning of the 19th October causing disruption to our services in Morecambe.”