KINGTON schoolchildren had to get off their bus and walk last week after it broke down during their journey home.

The school bus which takes students from Lady Hawkins’ School stopped working at Almeley on June 6 and children continued their journey on foot towards Eardisley.

A concerned parent, who did not want to be named, said they couldn’t believe their child had to get off and walk.

“I received a text message from my daughter at 4.05pm saying the bus had broken down and that she was walking.

“I thought she must be at Eardisley but when I got there I found other parents waiting for their children.

“I asked them if they knew the bus had broken down and they didn’t.

“I drove on in the opposite direction of the route the bus travels and then I came across children walking along the road and I found my daughter and her friend.

“I picked up two other children and took them back to their parents waiting in Eardisley.

“I’m glad they were all safe but I can’t believe the children were allowed to get off the bus and walk along what is a very fast road.”

Paul Jennings, headteacher at Lady Hawkins School, said he had been assured by the bus company Sargeants that their procedures were followed.

He said: “I’ve been told by the driver that the schoolchildren were not encouraged to get off the bus and that a relief minibus was sent for the driver to continue the journey.

“Some children decided to get off and walk and the driver shouted for them to get back on the bus.

“It is a concern and we must make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”

Sargeants were contacted but their managing director said he could not comment because he was not in the day the incident occurred and did not know much about it.

A Herefordshire Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of this matter and understand that the driver followed the correct procedures.

“We have requested a full report from the driver and company, and in the meantime, a document has been reissued to drivers to ensure the correct procedures continue to be followed.”