A SCHOOLGIRL was left panic-stricken on isolated moorland – after taking a bus which the driver wrongly assured her would be passing close to her Sheffield home.
Harriet Hall, 15, thought she had caught the TM Travel 214 service from the city centre, which runs along Ecclesall Road close to her home on Carter Knowle Road.
In fact she had boarded the 242, which runs to Crosspool and out over the moors to Ladybower and the Hope Valley.
Furious mum Georgia Hall said Harriet caught the bus on The Moor in the city centre and, when she asked the driver if the bus was going up Ecclesall Road, he said yes.
Georgia said: “When the driver said yes Harriet spent the last of her money on the fare. A short time later she realised she was in Crosspool but trusted the driver’s words and stayed seated.
“Only after the bus had gone out onto the moors did she question the driver again, who replied, ‘Oh, I don’t know what I told you, love’. He then let her off the bus in unfamiliar territory.”
Georgia said a lost and worried Harriet left her mum a ‘panicky’ voicemail after trying to call her mobile six times.
“Harriet sounded very shaky and nervous when she left the message,” said fitness instructor Georgia, who missed her daughter’s calls because she was at work and had her phone on silent.
An off-duty police officer and his wife driving in the opposite direction eventually came to Harriet’s aid, giving her a lift into the city despite the 15-year-old’s reluctance to get into a stranger’s car.
Georgia said: “Harriet didn’t know how far away she was, and had no money to catch a bus in the other direction. The bus driver must have a duty of care to make sure she gets somewhere safely.
“She looks older than her years, but he knew she was 15 – she showed him her Megatravel under 16s bus pass.
“If it hadn’t have been for the police officer and his wife, who knows what could have happened?”
Georgia has complained to TM Travel, based at Halfway, and operations manager Paul Harding has apologised and promised to investigate.
A spokesman for the company said: “Obviously, we send our apologies to the girl, but until we’ve investigated the incident we can’t comment further.”