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Schoolgirl stranded in Benfleet after bus driver tears up her ticket
A SCHOOLGIRL was left stranded after a driver threw her off a bus and ripped up her ticket.
Rosie Sinclair, 13, was trying to board the number 27 First Bus service at Victoria House Corner roundabout, Benfleet, when she was told her bus pass was not valid.
It had been issued by Essex County Council for the whole term as she does not live within walking distance of King John School in Shipwrights Drive, Thundersley.
Her furious mum Paula, 41, was left worrying for more than half an hour when Rosie failed to turn up to their home in Kents Hill Road, Benfleet, on Thursday afternoon.
The teenager's mobile phone was broken, so she was unable to get in touch with anyone.
Mrs Sinclair said: “Rosie was absolutely petrified. Even if the driver did think her ticket wasn’t valid there was no reason to treat her like that.
“She would normally have a phone to ring me, but it was really bad timing as it happened to be broken.
“She had no choice but to start walking home. The whole reason she’s entitled to a bus pass in the first place is because it’s just too far from home.
“I’m sure it can’t be First Buses policy to leave kids stranded. It’s really dangerous and anything could have happened.
“The thing which makes me even more angry is I have not had an apology from First. I think it’s disgraceful.”
A family friend passed Rosie as she was walking along Kiln Road and stopped to give her a lift.
She eventually got home at about 4.35pm, 35 minutes later than normal.
The council has issued a replacement ticket.
A spokesman for First Buses said: “We are investigating the incident and ensuring all of our drivers are aware of the validity of the various tickets our customers carry.
“A replacement pass has been issued to the customer, and if necessary, the driver concerned will be dealt with in line with company policy.”
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