A YOUNG pregnant woman and four elderly people were left shivering by the side of the road this week after their bus was involved in a collision with a lorry.
Michaela Moore, aged 22, and her grandmother May Moore — both from Shipston-on-Stour — were forced to wait in the cold after a tree branch smashed through the window of the 50A bus to Banbury.
Five months pregnant, Michaela stood in the rain with four OAPs on the outskirts of the village of Swalcliffe for over an hour on Monday morning.
“It was quite a tight road and there was a yellow lorry coming towards us,” said the expectant mother from Pittway Avenue, Shipston.
“You could see he wasn’t going to get through. The branch came straight through the door, and all of the glass went flying. There was an old lady sitting nearby.”
The bus driver pulled over and phoned Stagecoach bosses. He was initially told to wait with the passengers, and then to drive them all to Banbury.
Finally, he was told to leave them on the side of the road and return the damaged bus to the Stratford-upon-Avon depot.
He shovelled the shivering people off the stationary bus and told them to wait by the side of the road for the next bus in 20 minutes.
But when Michaela telephoned her 23-year-old partner, Ben Wickham, around 10am, he called Stagecoach and found out they were not planning on sending another bus until 12noon.
“It started to rain, it was freezing cold and two of the old ladies that were there hadn’t got proper coats on, they just had cardigans,” said Michaela.
“We were all worried about each other, because everyone was either old or pregnant.”
Ben, who is a director at Security Guards UK, is adamant the driver should have stayed there and let them sit in the bus.
“There was no reason for him to leave five vulnerable people in the cold, wet and rain,” he said. “I think it’s disgusting really.”
He demanded Stagecoach go and pick up his pregnant partner straight away and then threatened to go and get her himself and bill them for his time.
After Ben kicked up a fuss Stagecoach eventually sent taxis to Swalcliffe around 11.35am, over an hour after the bus had left the passengers there.
A company spokesperson apologised for the incident: “We are very sorry to hear of the problems experienced by five of our passengers, who were required to vacate the bus following damage to its wing mirror and door.”
The incident was not dealt with in “the way we would have expected”, he said.
“The matter is being internally investigated to ensure that swifter action is undertaken in the future.”
Michaela and her grandmother eventually got to Banbury, but the expectant mother said: “I wasn’t happy, my nan was suffering with cold feet all day.”
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