Mum claims she was kicked off bus because 5yo son’s singing ‘annoyed the driver’
A mum claims she was kicked off a bus because her five-year-old autistic son was SINGING ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ – annoying the driver.
Amanda Little and her five-year-old son Paul, who has an autism spectrum disorder, took the Arriva bus into central Colchester, Essex, for an optician’s appointment on Saturday [Oct 21].
However the 30-year-old carer claims that after Paul had sang a number of the nursery rhyme’s verses, the driver slammed on the brakes and demanded they got off the vehicle because he ‘couldn’t concentrate’.
The duo were allegedly made to sheepishly make their way off in front of other passengers where they were left ‘stranded’ at the wrong stop, making them late for their appointment.
It was only after relaying the ordeal to her family that the mum realised how upset she was by it and lodged a formal complaint to the driver’s bus company, who confirmed they have launched an investigation.
Amanda, Colchester, said: “I’m fuming. I told my mum as well and my whole family were fuming too. It’s the first time I’ve been chucked off a bus.
“My son had an optician’s appointment. He was sat at the back of the bus where he always goes.
“Suddenly he just started singing. The song was ‘The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round’.
“All of a sudden, four stops later, the bus just suddenly stopped.
“The bus driver said ‘the lady at the back of the bus with the little boy, get off the bus please.’
“When the bus driver kicked us off he just sounded p**sed off really. He said he couldn’t concentrate.”
Amanda claims she was forced off the bus in front of fellow passengers, and was stranded at the wrong stop until she managed to find another bus to get her to her appointment late.
She said: “I just thought to myself, ‘well what did we do to deserve this?’ It wasn’t my stop and it was nowhere near town.
“We were just left there. We must have been about 20 or 30 minutes away from town.
“It was such a pain because we ended up being five minutes late for the optician’s appointment. My auntie works there and my whole family were just fuming.”
Paul was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in February 2016, and Amanda says singing and repetition are things Paul enjoys doing.
Carer Amanda said: “He was being really quiet and I’ve no idea how the bus driver could even hear him, especially since we were right at the back.
“He wasn’t being annoying or particularly loud but the bus driver said it was ‘annoying’ him.
“My son can say a few words but he has slow speech development. He can do things like write his name and he has difficulty talking, but he can count to 160.
“He’s a very quiet child and he was being quiet on that day. Plus you could hardly hear him at the back.
“There were hardly any people on the bus so I suppose it could have been ‘echoing’ through the bus or something, I really don’t know.”
The duo faced a 20-minute walk to get back into town, but was saved when, luckily, another bus came to that stop.
She complained to the Arriva website the same day after sharing the details of the ordeal on social media, and getting Paul’s eyes tested.
Amanda said: “To try and see it from [the driver’s] point of view, I suppose if there was somebody screaming then that would be an issue – but it was just a little boy singing.
“My son didn’t understand what had happened at the time but when I explained to him exactly what had happened he was angry too.
“I rang Arriva to complain but the company was closed at the weekend, so I complained on the website. I’m just fuming.”
An Arriva spokesperson said: “We are committed to providing passengers with the best possible service and have been working with local bus user groups and Essex County Council to help improve bus travel for everyone in the area.
“Now that our attention has been drawn to this complaint, we will investigate it thoroughly and, if warranted, take appropriate action.”
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