Late bus panic for stressed students

Pupils missed the start of their exams after their bus broke down.
Pupils missed the start of their exams after their bus broke down.

Stressed students have been left under added pressure after the bus taking them to sit their exams was late – two days in a row.

The group of teenagers, all sitting their GCSEs and A-levels, have been left sweating over their grades after they missed the start of their exams on both days.

Pupils travelling from Lancaster through the Lune Valley to Queen Elizabeth School in Kirkby Lonsdale arrived at the school about an hour late on Monday after their Stagecoach bus broke down in Melling.

And on Tuesday the same 81B service was late collecting them along the route.

The service is due to leave Lancaster bus station at 7.45am, reaching QES at 8.38am.

Deborah Collier’s nephew Jordan McAllister had to sit a GCSE sociology paper and then a double physics exam later than his classmates after waiting an hour for a replacement bus to arrive on Monday.

Jordan, 16, was then late sitting his higher level English literature paper on Tuesday after the bus was late picking him up from Caton, where he is staying with his aunt and uncle during his exams.

Mrs Collier said she had been told that the school would be able to make allowances for the problem and use mock exam results - but it was hugely stressful for all the students.

She said: “The school has been magnificent and handled it as well as they possibly could but the impact on the students has been massive.

“My nephew has spent months studying for his exams and this left them all completely flustered.

“Stagecoach need to assure parents that this is not going to happen again.”

Mark Edmondson, from Hornby, whose two children go to QES, said he had been told the school now had to write letters of consideration to the exam board.

He said: “The kids are nervous about their exams as it is.

“The buses break down quite a lot, and the company seems to be happy to leave it like that.

“The main question is, is this going to happen again?

“I think they’re directly jeopardising our children’s futures and we’re really concerned about it.

“You’d think they’d make a special effort to check the buses work at an important time like this.”

A Stagecoach spokesman said: “We are aware that this service suffered a mechanical breakdown at 8.29am on the morning of May 19.

“The operations team reacted quickly and dispatched a replacement vehicle within 10 minutes of being notified.

“The replacement vehicle arrived 40 minutes later as a result of peak traffic in the area and passengers were then taken to their final destination.

“Due to roadworks related to the M6 link road on Morecambe Road and Caton Road, we are experiencing unpredictable delays on this route.

“Stagecoach are closely monitoring this route but the nature of the delays mean that our services will inevitably be affected.”

Queen Elizabeth School said they did not wish to comment on the issue.