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School bus dropped young children off two miles from home

The pupils, aged five and six, were reported missing and a search was launched.

Bus drop: Children are now suffering from nightmares.
Bus drop: Children are now suffering from nightmares.

A school bus dropped off two young children two miles away from their usual stop, leading to the youngsters being reported missing.

The incident took place in Fife on January 17, when Annie Buist's five-year-old son and six-year-old daughter were being taken home from St Ninian's Primary School near Cardenden.

Mrs Buist said her children were left by the side of a main road after the Stagecoach driver failed to stop where their grandparents were waiting.

They were instead dropped off at a stop in Dundonald, where the six-year-old girl tried to flag down passing cars for help.

A search was launched at 3.15pm as the driver said he did not know where the two children had been dropped off.

Mrs Buist was informed at 4.20pm her children had been traced by the police following a search involving teachers and parents.

'My son was screaming by the side of a main road whilst my daughter was frantically trying to wave down drivers.'
Annie Buist

She said her children have been suffering from nightmares and is now demanding answers from the bus company and the education authorities.

Mrs Buist, who lives in Cardenden, said: "My son was screaming by the side of a main road whilst my daughter was frantically trying to wave down drivers in passing cars to help her.

"Thankfully a seven-year-old boy persuaded them not to walk and took them to his grandparents house where after a series of conversations they were then passed to the police at the bus stop where they should have got off.

"Between January 17 and to date I still have no answers as to why this happened all Stagecoach and St Ninian's have done is blame one another."

'This was a worrying incident and we want to ensure that both the council and the bus company learn from this.'
Rona Maclean-Ross, Fife Council

David Frenz, operations director at Stagecoach East Scotland said: "We were very concerned when this was brought to our attention and want to make sure that it cannot happen again.

"We have therefore worked with the council to introduce a new process which will help outline to our driver the pupils who are due to alight at each stop, and we are pleased that the council is contacting pupils to give them advice around travelling on the school bus.

"We have also tried to contact this particular pupil's family to reassure them that we have taken steps to prevent this situation arising again."

Fife Council's education officer Rona Maclean-Ross said: "This was a worrying incident and we want to ensure that both the council and the bus company learn from this.

"As a result, an amended bus driver checklist for all pupils boarding the school bus is now being filled out by the school to confirm children's drop off points for the driver, in an additional attempt to ensure they do not miss any stops on their route.

"Stagecoach has also confirmed that, as an interim measure, their drivers will stop at every bus stop on this particular route until we are satisfied that the check list is shown to work effectively."

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