Hemel mum criticises Arriva after delayed buses repeatedly made her daughter late for school

Arriva has apologised and says they are 'taking every action to avoid a repeat of this in the future'

Friday, 24th September 2021, 1:08 pm

A mum from Hemel Hempstead has criticised Arriva's poor bus service after her daughter's bus to school was late on several occasions.

Having recently moved to the area from Essex, Duduzile Moyo (Dee) has been disappointed by the Arriva bus service her daughter has experienced when travelling from Hemel Hempstead to St Albans Girls School.

She said: "The bus has been late on a number of occasions, and sometimes it doesn't even turn up.

Dee's daughter boards the 302 bus from the Marlowes to St Albans St Peter Street

"I have complained to Arriva and they say they are looking into why it was late, but that passengers should take responsibility for their onward/connecting journey."

On her daughter's first day of school (September 6), Dee says there was an issue with the 302 bus, both to and from school.

Arriva has apologised and is placing a heavy emphasis on recruitment to resolve the staff shortage problem as soon as possible.

Dee said: "She boards the 302 bus from the Marlowes to St Albans St Peter Street.

"She would normally catch the 7.20am bus, however, this bus did not arrive and she had to catch the 7.40am bus which meant that she missed her connecting bus to take her to school and she was extremely late for her first day of school in year 10 as we have just moved to the area.

"Coming home, she had to wait over an hour in St Albans for the bus to arrive, there was no 302 or 300 bus, she eventually caught a bus at 5.05pm, when she had been waiting at the bus stop since 3.48pm."

Dee, who has driven her daughter to school on a number of occasions, is now considering changing schools as she says it is not fair that her daughter is regularly late and driving her there is not always possible because of her job.

She said: "I have had to buy a monthly bus pass, but she has hardly used it because of all these problems.

"The service is awful, and the communication from Arriva has been just as bad.

"They do not take accountability for what has happened.

"In London, if this happened, there would be an apology from the bus operator and a refund of the missed fare.

"But with Arriva, it is just making an excuse about operational problems."

Scott O’Neill, general manager for Hemel Hempstead and Stevenage, said: “Unfortunately, as with all travel operators we are currently dealing with some staff shortages, to which we are placing a heavy emphasis on recruitment to resolve as soon as possible.

"As well as this we are also currently dealing with a high level of staff sickness at the moment which has put a strain on our service delivery capability.

"Although this may not be of help, please extend our apologies and rest assured we are taking every action to avoid a repeat of this in the future.”