A TEN-YEAR-OLD schoolgirl’s kindness was rudely repaid on Wednesday when the driver of a Diamond bus refused to let her back on the vehicle and drove off – leaving her stranded alone in Winyates.
The incident, which also saw four passengers injured, is the latest in the town’s Diamond Buses fiasco.
Paige Sherriff had caught the 57 service from outside Ipsely Middle School on her journey home to Church Hill.
As the bus stopped near the Winyates Centre, she kindly stepped off the packed vehicle to allow a mother to get off with a pushchair.
But when she tried to get back on, she saw the doors slam in her face.
“The driver shut the doors on her and she says he stuck his fingers up at her,” Donna, Paige’s mother said. “She has been distraught.”
The youngster had no choice but to make her way to the bus stop outside the Centre where kind-hearted Redditch residents did their best to console her.
Kerry Tudor, who was at the bus stop with her 15-month-old daughter, said: “She was hysterical – we tried to calm her down but she was very distressed.”
Paige had to wait 45 minutes for the next bus to arrive which – mercifully – was carrying her mother.
The mother of five said she was horrified to see her daughter so upset.
“The whole ordeal has left her traumatised – when she got to me she was cold and shaking, I’ve never seen her so upset,” said Donna, aged 33.
But the drama didn’t end there. As the packed bus made it’s way to Church Hill, it passed a bus which had pulled over.
The vehicle is believed to have the one Paige was denied access to.
Following the driver’s refusal to let her back on, it is understood passengers began to press the emergency stop button and some were hurt when the vehicle came to a halt.
Kerry was one of around 20 people who went on to Redditch’s bus depot following the incident to complain which, she said, resulted in a supervisor laughing in their faces.
West Mercia Police said they were called just before 3.10pm on Wednesday to reports of an incident involving a bus and confirmed four people suffered minor injuries.
David Squire, additional director at Diamond Buses with responsibility for Redditch, said: “We take people’s safety seriously and I am personally looking into this and we will be carrying out a full investigation into exactly what happened.
“We would like to offer our apologies to the customers concerned. Clearly we have let down the child and her parent and we will get to the bottom of this and move it forward.”