First apologises to teenager for leaving her stranded in the dark

PUBLISHED: 08:16 10 April 2018

Gemma Sutton with her bus pass. She keeps being refused when she tries to catch her bus to college outside Bristol Airport.

Gemma Sutton with her bus pass. She keeps being refused when she tries to catch her bus to college outside Bristol Airport.

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A concerned parent from Backwell has hit out at First Bus after his stepdaughter was left stranded in Weston at night.

Gemma Sutton, aged 17, catches the bus from Bristol Airport to Weston College, but she has been refused access onto the bus a number of times as drivers claim she cannot use her pass.

Her student pass allows her to catch the A2 or A3, but a number of drivers have refused to let her onto the A2 bus as they claim the pass does not cover the service.

Gemma has been late or missed college on a few occasions and she was also left stranded in Weston one evening.

Her stepdad Kelvin Ogborne said: “The problems started just before Christmas. One morning she came back at 7.40am and said the driver said the pass doesn’t let her on to the A2.

“The next day she went again and it was a different driver so she was allowed on.

“Two or three days later she came back through the door as the driver hadn’t let her on again.

“For a week she wasn’t allowed on the bus. She had to catch the later A3 to get into college an hour later.

“We received a phone call from First to say sorry as the driver didn’t realise she was allowed on.

“But, two-and-a-half weeks ago my partner rang up and said Gemma was refused again outside Weston College.

“The driver said she had to pay £1 and she didn’t have any money. She was left at the bus stop at 8pm in the pitch black.

“She was crying and a lady walked by and gave her £1 to get the next bus.

“It’s just not right. I’m very frustrated because there’s obviously a problem and complaints are just not being dealt with.

“First is supposed to supply a service which they are not doing.”

A company spokesman said: “I can only apologise to Kelvin and Gemma for any inconvenience caused, and ask that they make contact with First so we can thoroughly investigate the matter.

“We are very surprised this happened because many of our customers use the student bus pass on a daily basis on both the A2 and A3, and our dedicated team of drivers are very familiar with the Weston College student pass.

“We will remind drivers to prevent similar incidents from occurring and look forward to hearing from Kelvin or Gemma.”

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