Monday, 15 October 2007

Another email to Dublin Bus. Bus went wrong way. Yikes. Kids got off near Renault garage,

Another email to Dublin Bus.

Subject: 44 bus (one missing Thur Oct 12, wrong route Fri Oct 13)


1. missing bus 12/10/2007

Could you find out what happened to the Enniskerry->City Centre 44 bus on 12/10/2007,
the bus that arrives at 8:10ish at Kilgobbin Road. It did not arrive.

2. wrong route 13/10/2007

The route for that bus has changed due to roadworks on the Sandyford road.
We have two children who take that bus to school. Ages 9 and 5.
The first mornings of the route changes we accompanied them on the bus to
make sure they were familiar with bus stops.
On Friday they were with another family, the eldest in the group was 12 years old, they
were not accompanied by an adult.

On Friday the 44 bus got lost and instead of turning down the Drummartin link road it
drove on into Sandyford Industrial Estate. The bus left the children off somewhere near the
Renault garage. Because they know the area they were able to make their way to school.

This is of great concern to us.
We are not sure what information the children and driver exchanged.
We know mistakes can happen but hope that if they do happen then
the safety of the children is not put at risk.

A different morning the driver did not stop at the normal school bus stop and was
unfriendly to the children. "That's not my problem!"
They were left off just down the road thankfully near a pedestrian crossing.

Many/most drivers I think do take very good care of their passengers but we are concerned
if some drivers, especially on school mornings, don't take some consideration for younger

Does driver training include care and consideration of passengers of different abilities
and is this can be reinforced by Dublin Bus on an ongoing basis?

What would be the minimum age of children that would be expected to be travelling
unaccompanied on the bus? (for short local trip)
- Note that if we encourage more use of the bus then it is more likely that there
would be a number of children from the same school on the same bus every morning and
every child in the group is safer as a result.

I would really appreciate it if you can investigate the incidents for us and find some
information on your policies with regards training and young passengers.




gaoithe said...

This is what I'm thinking ...
Mayer Hillman, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Policy Studies Institute, London, UK

parental fears, loss of independance



Children who travel alone on any transport need to be well prepared by their parents. They need to know about the system, who they can speak to, what to do if arrangements fall through, how to contact parents and who to contact if they are unable to contact parents, especially in an emergency.

might require 'unaccompanied minor' form to be completed

waider said...

are you getting any actual responses to these?

mopti said...

Did Dublin Bus answer your email queries?

Anonymous said...

But Fionnuala and another Mummy have been on phone to the area manager for Dublin over the past few days. I'm very bad complaining on the phone but the other Mummy has much more balls than myself! :) And we're assured care of passengers is an important part of driver instruction, kids of our kids ages should be okay to be taking the bus unaccompanied and that they're moving forward with another issue we have which is getting a bus stop nearer to school after the route change.

The bus that got lost was because the driver was given the map of the route for the 11 bus. And he was french. And perhaps new but we didn't get that straight.

Kids have gotten to school the last 3 days anyway! :)

Complicated things because the family the kids are travelling with get off near the school which is not a bus stop (YET).
More safety in numbers and Kate's legs are small so she finds the walk down from school with Daire not fun :(.
Fionnuala was in contact with Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown CoCo and Dublin Bus from September when we knew route was going to change to get a bus-stop put on the long section of road without bus-stop (near school).
Anyway this week might have hurried up getting a temporary bus stop there.

But in the meantime the Irish policy of kids just asking to get off is working for them! :)

On Wed when boarding the bus I asked driver would he stop there but he was pretty gruff and drove off before I could talk to kids about maybe not trying to get off there. So I followed bus on motorbike (which involved waiting beside stuck traffic for 20 mins). And I was duly cross when kids were not left off ... but bus got stuck in traffic down the road and driver did then leave them off. Kids said driver said "I won't leave you off there another morning!".

After that Fionnuala showed kids the next bus-stop which is not too far and kids
would be safe enough walking back to school from there if bus doesn't leave them off earlier.

On Thursday I saw kids to bus but did not follow.
Same driver as Wed.
But an adult wanted off at Luas stop so it did stop.

On Friday. Same driver again.
Left kids off at Luas stop - nobody else wanted off there this morning.
Traffic was clear so bus probably wouldn't have stopped.
So. ? but yay :)

Anonymous said...

That got via different route to area manager person and other people internally.

... I forgot point 3 in original email which was about getting the new temporary bus-stop.


This is with reference to the 44 bus from Enniskerry->City Centre,
the bus that arrives at 8:10ish at Kilgobbin Road. Today, Wed 17/10/2007.
We have two children 9 and 5 on this bus and they travel with another family.

Through other contact with Dublin bus management we believe a bus stop for the
44 bus on Drummartin link road near to the pedestrian crossing/Luas stop is
being arranged. We URGENTLY need this to be completed as again we had some difficulties
with the bus. We cannot direct the children accurately if sometimes the bus will stop
there and sometimes it won't. If a bus route changes significantly I do not understand
why bus stops are added weeks after. Some forward planning could have put a bus stop
in place from the first day of the route change.

This morning the bus driver was very curt and would not entertain the idea of stopping.
However because he moved away while I was trying to talk to him I was unable to direct
the children to get off at an earlier stop and walk the longer distance down.
I was again put in the ridiculous situation of following the bus (this morning on a motorbike).
The children didn't get off at the first stop and the bus did not stop on the Drummartin link
road until it got stuck in traffic. The bus driver said he would not leave them off if they
tried to get off there another morning. These are children from ages 5 to 12 and the bus
driver is not taking this into consideration or taking proper care of his passengers.

This morning was made very stressful by the uncommunicativeness and rudeness of the bus driver.
This morning the bus driver held the line "there is no bus stop",
"I'm responsible if anything happens".
The longer walks to school are fine for the children but they DO put them on the roads more
and put them in more danger.

So please if a bus stop is coming on Drummartin link road move it forward as fast as possible.
And please consider bus drivers with a caring attitude to the children for school bus runs.

On location for the Bus stop, the area manager was talking with my wife and other people I believe.
The Drummartin link road has raised footpath beside cycle path.
Immediately at the Luas stop the cycle path is right beside the road.
this is because the Luas bridge is the narrowest section.
Just after the brige the road widens and a section of grass and trees start which would
allow a bus stop to be placed and not discharge passengers into the cycle lane.,-6.225058&spn=0.001889,0.004533&z=18


gaoithe said...

Not even the first canned response I got first last time.
I've moved on :) and I'm all mellow again ...
fingers crossed for temporary bus-stop being approved and installed soon.

gaoithe said...

.. and a map for a different bus route. It's sort of a mental challenge.

We were talking to Daire about how it was that they got off on Tue and they got off with an adult that morning but Daire was saying the bus driver was saying that no he was on the right road ... and showing them on the map. .... ? The map of the route 11 which didn't have the Drummartin-link road? (Drummartin road is pretty new and missing from the maps except for the latest series).

gaoithe said...

The original original answer to first email should have been that Dublin bus DO operate a special school bus service. Private contractors run some school buses in term time only to prevent the regular service from experiencing overload. In Sandyford area the Kelly bus goes from Ballyogan, through Leopardstown to Sandyford and Dundrum. They are lovely to the kids on the bus and really look after them. So for now ... :). Still no temporary bus stop in place though the bus does stop near the Luas crossing.