Boy,6, left at wrong bus stop

Cullen Bambridge with his mother Melanie Dartnell. DC5385P1

Cullen Bambridge with his mother Melanie Dartnell. DC5385P1

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A SIX-YEAR-OLD boy left at the wrong stop by a bus driver walked a mile down a busy road by himself while his frantic family searched for him.

Little Cullen Bambridge boarded the Salisbury Reds bus he travels on every day from Wilton and Barford Primary School on Monday.

His mother’s partner Jordan McLaughing was waiting for him at his usual stop at The Avenue, but the bus never turned up.

Mr McLaughing initially thought the bus was running late, but as the minutes ticked by he got worried and set off towards Wilton town centre to try to find Cullen.

After the youngster had been missing for half an hour, Mr McLaughing eventually spotted him crossing the busy Avenue as he tried to find his own way home.

Cullen’s furious mother Melanie Dartnell said: “It’s very distressing for all of us.

“It’s not just the fact that he got off in Wilton, but that he walked along and crossed the road by himself – he’s only just turned six.

“He walked a mile on his own, past a river.

“He could have been picked up by a stranger or fallen in the water.

“I know he’s safe but anything could have happened to him and it has really scared us all.

“At the moment the bus company seems to be passing the buck and I’m concerned in case it happens again. I really just want to know what happened, and how they allowed him to walk all that way on his own.”

Ms Dartnell’s mother Diane Kearney spoke to the bus company and was told the driver was new and didn’t know where Cullen got off.

He asked the youngster if he normally got off in Wilton and Cullen said he did.

Mrs Kearney said: “He’s only six, and he thought it was the last stop so he got off.”

She said the teacher who saw him safely on to the bus told her it was a regular bus driver and if it hadn’t been then the school would have ensured the driver knew where Cullen was to be dropped off.

Headteacher Jan Nock said: “There isn’t a regular bus driver but it was one of the regular drivers who has done the route before.”

Mrs Kearney said the situation was made worse by the fact that the bus didn’t go down The Avenue so there was a delay before anyone realised Cullen was missing.

“If it had gone down The Avenue my son-in-law would have seen there was no one on the bus and called the police,” she said.

Andrew Sherrington, Salisbury Reds operations manager, said: “I am aware of an incident on Monday, where a young boy left a Salisbury Reds bus before his usual stop.

“The safety of all our passengers is a primary concern for us – and we are taking this report very seriously.

“We are conducting a full investigation.

“We believe, after initial discussions, that this event was the result of a misunderstanding between the boy and the driver - neither of whom were familiar to each other.

“If this is found to be the case, we will look at ways to work even more closely with the council to try and ensure that no such incidents can occur in the future.”

Comments (22)

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12:54pm Thu 24 Jul 14

steggs2 says...

Salisbury Reds do it all the time, leave children to walk home alone even in the dark, often leaving them at stops in the rain and driving past, they are faceless and uncaring.
Salisbury Reds do it all the time, leave children to walk home alone even in the dark, often leaving them at stops in the rain and driving past, they are faceless and uncaring. steggs2
  • Score: -18

1:01pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Mary helen 13 says...

Can I just say that I am glad nothing happened to this young boy. Was this an actual school bus or a normal public bus? Either way I think it is discusting that children of that age are not being supervised on the way home from school. Why can't the school or the council hire "bus escorts" That way if the bus drivers do change it will not matter. Then at least the bus escort is also handing the child over to their nominated adult and not let just get off the bus. I also do not blame the bus driver, unless it is in his job description.
Can I just say that I am glad nothing happened to this young boy. Was this an actual school bus or a normal public bus? Either way I think it is discusting that children of that age are not being supervised on the way home from school. Why can't the school or the council hire "bus escorts" That way if the bus drivers do change it will not matter. Then at least the bus escort is also handing the child over to their nominated adult and not let just get off the bus. I also do not blame the bus driver, unless it is in his job description. Mary helen 13
  • Score: 23

11:02pm Fri 25 Jul 14

DimTim says...

Total non-story. Child gets off bus at wrong stop, all is fine in the end - 30 minutes later. Mum goes to local rag to make a fuss because she wants to blame someone and shift her parental responsibilities elsewhere.

Not the driver's fault, really hope he is not disciplined for this.
Total non-story. Child gets off bus at wrong stop, all is fine in the end - 30 minutes later. Mum goes to local rag to make a fuss because she wants to blame someone and shift her parental responsibilities elsewhere. Not the driver's fault, really hope he is not disciplined for this. DimTim
  • Score: 65

12:09am Sat 26 Jul 14

mel n jordan says...

Who do you think you are talking about our parental responsibilities. Head teacher completely assures us the bus is safe for him to Go on. He's only 6 and got confused when the driver said get off. Even though if the driver looked at his ticket he'd see where he was ment to get off. Otherwise if there was a responsible adult. And the next day we went to the paper not 30 mins later and not to make a fuss either but to appeal to witnesses who might have seen him walk home. So from now on if you don't know the facts then keep Your f****** mouth shut. :D
Who do you think you are talking about our parental responsibilities. Head teacher completely assures us the bus is safe for him to Go on. He's only 6 and got confused when the driver said get off. Even though if the driver looked at his ticket he'd see where he was ment to get off. Otherwise if there was a responsible adult. And the next day we went to the paper not 30 mins later and not to make a fuss either but to appeal to witnesses who might have seen him walk home. So from now on if you don't know the facts then keep Your f****** mouth shut. :D mel n jordan
  • Score: -68

12:42am Sat 26 Jul 14

DimTim says...

I didn't say you went to the paper 30 mins later, I said he was fine 30 mins later - ok?
Why do you need witnesses?
He got off the bus, walked a bit, didn't fall in the river, wasn't abducted by paedos, the taliban or pixies and all was fine.
Whilst this was clearly distressing, I'd hate to see someone lose their job over a simple misunderstanding.
Aren't you the little charmer?!
I didn't say you went to the paper 30 mins later, I said he was fine 30 mins later - ok? Why do you need witnesses? He got off the bus, walked a bit, didn't fall in the river, wasn't abducted by paedos, the taliban or pixies and all was fine. Whilst this was clearly distressing, I'd hate to see someone lose their job over a simple misunderstanding. Aren't you the little charmer?! DimTim
  • Score: 57

12:50am Sat 26 Jul 14

mel n jordan says...

Well I'd love to see people lose their job. The driver for bbeing inpatient and leaving a child with no adult all he had to do was look at his ticket. N the head teacher for not caring about it. And also they pinned the blame on a child so yeah am missed off and if you keep rabbiting on I'll get **** off with you. So keep your pafetic opinion to yourself or yull see how much of a charmer a am.
Well I'd love to see people lose their job. The driver for bbeing inpatient and leaving a child with no adult all he had to do was look at his ticket. N the head teacher for not caring about it. And also they pinned the blame on a child so yeah am missed off and if you keep rabbiting on I'll get **** off with you. So keep your pafetic opinion to yourself or yull see how much of a charmer a am. mel n jordan
  • Score: -83

1:07am Sat 26 Jul 14

DimTim says...

I disagree, I see no need for disproportionate vengeance. Improved communication is what's needed.
Of course you could just walk up to the school and pick him up (unless he goes to the Barford site - is that still used?) - it's lovely weather for a walk!
I disagree, I see no need for disproportionate vengeance. Improved communication is what's needed. Of course you could just walk up to the school and pick him up (unless he goes to the Barford site - is that still used?) - it's lovely weather for a walk! DimTim
  • Score: 43

1:28am Sat 26 Jul 14

mel n jordan says...

Yeah I'll walk miles on end four times a day with a new born baby housework and everything else I've got to do that's a brilliant idea why didn't I think of that :S
Yeah I'll walk miles on end four times a day with a new born baby housework and everything else I've got to do that's a brilliant idea why didn't I think of that :S mel n jordan
  • Score: -53

10:02am Sat 26 Jul 14

DimTim says...

The distance from the roundabout (at the bottom of The Avenue) to the school is 0.7 miles and should take less than 15 minutes. So that is an hour in total out of your busy schedule and hardly 'miles on end four times a day' is it?
My very first thought was '6 years old and he's travelling alone on public transport?' - back to shifting parental responsibilities again aren't we?
Three obvious benefits -
1. Your health - walking is good for you!
2. Your pocket - you don't have to pay his bus fares.
3. You have more contact with your child and his school.
The distance from the roundabout (at the bottom of The Avenue) to the school is 0.7 miles and should take less than 15 minutes. So that is an hour in total out of your busy schedule and hardly 'miles on end four times a day' is it? My very first thought was '6 years old and he's travelling alone on public transport?' - back to shifting parental responsibilities again aren't we? Three obvious benefits - 1. Your health - walking is good for you! 2. Your pocket - you don't have to pay his bus fares. 3. You have more contact with your child and his school. DimTim
  • Score: 63

12:27pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Champers says...

mel n jordan wrote:
Well I'd love to see people lose their job. The driver for bbeing inpatient and leaving a child with no adult all he had to do was look at his ticket. N the head teacher for not caring about it. And also they pinned the blame on a child so yeah am missed off and if you keep rabbiting on I'll get **** off with you. So keep your pafetic opinion to yourself or yull see how much of a charmer a am.
Are you really the parent of this little boy or is this a wind up? I can't believe a 'caring and responsible ' mother would use this kind of threatening and abusive language.

I work part time as a bus escort for schoolchildren and I find it very hard to understand how anyone would be happy to allow a 6 year old to travel unsupervised on public transport. On school runs for primary children, there should always be a designated adult to be in charge of safety and behaviour. It's not the drivers responsibility, he should be focused on keep the vehicle safe for all passengers, not childminding.
[quote][p][bold]mel n jordan[/bold] wrote: Well I'd love to see people lose their job. The driver for bbeing inpatient and leaving a child with no adult all he had to do was look at his ticket. N the head teacher for not caring about it. And also they pinned the blame on a child so yeah am missed off and if you keep rabbiting on I'll get **** off with you. So keep your pafetic opinion to yourself or yull see how much of a charmer a am.[/p][/quote]Are you really the parent of this little boy or is this a wind up? I can't believe a 'caring and responsible ' mother would use this kind of threatening and abusive language. I work part time as a bus escort for schoolchildren and I find it very hard to understand how anyone would be happy to allow a 6 year old to travel unsupervised on public transport. On school runs for primary children, there should always be a designated adult to be in charge of safety and behaviour. It's not the drivers responsibility, he should be focused on keep the vehicle safe for all passengers, not childminding. Champers
  • Score: 60

4:12pm Sun 27 Jul 14

gingin says...

Champers wrote:
mel n jordan wrote:
Well I'd love to see people lose their job. The driver for bbeing inpatient and leaving a child with no adult all he had to do was look at his ticket. N the head teacher for not caring about it. And also they pinned the blame on a child so yeah am missed off and if you keep rabbiting on I'll get **** off with you. So keep your pafetic opinion to yourself or yull see how much of a charmer a am.
Are you really the parent of this little boy or is this a wind up? I can't believe a 'caring and responsible ' mother would use this kind of threatening and abusive language.

I work part time as a bus escort for schoolchildren and I find it very hard to understand how anyone would be happy to allow a 6 year old to travel unsupervised on public transport. On school runs for primary children, there should always be a designated adult to be in charge of safety and behaviour. It's not the drivers responsibility, he should be focused on keep the vehicle safe for all passengers, not childminding.
Lets hope the bad language isn't repeated at home for this lovely little lad to hear.

Can't quite understand why this mother thinks it's other peoples responsibility to look after her child on a public bus.
[quote][p][bold]Champers[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mel n jordan[/bold] wrote: Well I'd love to see people lose their job. The driver for bbeing inpatient and leaving a child with no adult all he had to do was look at his ticket. N the head teacher for not caring about it. And also they pinned the blame on a child so yeah am missed off and if you keep rabbiting on I'll get **** off with you. So keep your pafetic opinion to yourself or yull see how much of a charmer a am.[/p][/quote]Are you really the parent of this little boy or is this a wind up? I can't believe a 'caring and responsible ' mother would use this kind of threatening and abusive language. I work part time as a bus escort for schoolchildren and I find it very hard to understand how anyone would be happy to allow a 6 year old to travel unsupervised on public transport. On school runs for primary children, there should always be a designated adult to be in charge of safety and behaviour. It's not the drivers responsibility, he should be focused on keep the vehicle safe for all passengers, not childminding.[/p][/quote]Lets hope the bad language isn't repeated at home for this lovely little lad to hear. Can't quite understand why this mother thinks it's other peoples responsibility to look after her child on a public bus. gingin
  • Score: 54

2:01pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Fruit41 says...

Wow! I just read this story and was astounded! My first thought was "what on earth is a 6 year old doing on his own on public transport" and then I thought I was missing something!

I clearly wasn't. Why on earth is it someone elses responsibility to collect your child from school? I have two children and I hold down a responsible job four days a week. Oh and then there's the housework and other "stuff" I have to do as well! I collect my children from nursery and school, respectively, three days a week and my parents collect my son from school on the other two days. The distance from my work to the school my son attends is 1.5 miles. I walk - with a pushchair...

Take from that what you will. I would never expect my six year old to use public transport on his own. Absolutely outrageous. Cannot believe this is on the Journal website!
Wow! I just read this story and was astounded! My first thought was "what on earth is a 6 year old doing on his own on public transport" and then I thought I was missing something! I clearly wasn't. Why on earth is it someone elses responsibility to collect your child from school? I have two children and I hold down a responsible job four days a week. Oh and then there's the housework and other "stuff" I have to do as well! I collect my children from nursery and school, respectively, three days a week and my parents collect my son from school on the other two days. The distance from my work to the school my son attends is 1.5 miles. I walk - with a pushchair... Take from that what you will. I would never expect my six year old to use public transport on his own. Absolutely outrageous. Cannot believe this is on the Journal website! Fruit41
  • Score: 51

2:55pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Champers says...

Fruit41 wrote:
Wow! I just read this story and was astounded! My first thought was "what on earth is a 6 year old doing on his own on public transport" and then I thought I was missing something!

I clearly wasn't. Why on earth is it someone elses responsibility to collect your child from school? I have two children and I hold down a responsible job four days a week. Oh and then there's the housework and other "stuff" I have to do as well! I collect my children from nursery and school, respectively, three days a week and my parents collect my son from school on the other two days. The distance from my work to the school my son attends is 1.5 miles. I walk - with a pushchair...

Take from that what you will. I would never expect my six year old to use public transport on his own. Absolutely outrageous. Cannot believe this is on the Journal website!
Well said and spot on!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Fruit41[/bold] wrote: Wow! I just read this story and was astounded! My first thought was "what on earth is a 6 year old doing on his own on public transport" and then I thought I was missing something! I clearly wasn't. Why on earth is it someone elses responsibility to collect your child from school? I have two children and I hold down a responsible job four days a week. Oh and then there's the housework and other "stuff" I have to do as well! I collect my children from nursery and school, respectively, three days a week and my parents collect my son from school on the other two days. The distance from my work to the school my son attends is 1.5 miles. I walk - with a pushchair... Take from that what you will. I would never expect my six year old to use public transport on his own. Absolutely outrageous. Cannot believe this is on the Journal website![/p][/quote]Well said and spot on!!!! Champers
  • Score: 36

3:41pm Mon 28 Jul 14

mel n jordan says...

This is the boys mum. The person commenting before was my partner who was very angry and is defensive. Not to sound cheeky but you do not know the whole facts of the story. The bus is only public before and after the school run. We were assured by the head teacher the bus was safe and that there was a responsible adult on board which turns out there wasn't. I can't walk to school because of work programmes and medical issues which everyone at a meeting agreed it was easier to get the bus. I appreciate people Have opinions but if their nasty opinions and about my parenting then please don't write them.
This is the boys mum. The person commenting before was my partner who was very angry and is defensive. Not to sound cheeky but you do not know the whole facts of the story. The bus is only public before and after the school run. We were assured by the head teacher the bus was safe and that there was a responsible adult on board which turns out there wasn't. I can't walk to school because of work programmes and medical issues which everyone at a meeting agreed it was easier to get the bus. I appreciate people Have opinions but if their nasty opinions and about my parenting then please don't write them. mel n jordan
  • Score: -38

4:26pm Wed 30 Jul 14

LadyHx says...

When you involve the local media you are inviting opinion about your parenting. I would not allow my 6 year to get a bus on their own, regardless of safety assurances.
When you involve the local media you are inviting opinion about your parenting. I would not allow my 6 year to get a bus on their own, regardless of safety assurances. LadyHx
  • Score: 26

6:11pm Wed 30 Jul 14

winterslow says...

Argue all you like, I'm more concerned that karlmarx hasn't chipped in yet to blame this on John Glen, David Cameron or Wilts County Council

Can you confirm you're ok karl?
Argue all you like, I'm more concerned that karlmarx hasn't chipped in yet to blame this on John Glen, David Cameron or Wilts County Council Can you confirm you're ok karl? winterslow
  • Score: 15

6:17pm Thu 31 Jul 14

LizPerrella says...

The headline should be '6 year old gets on public bus on his own'. Astounded that any parent would think it acceptable to let a 6 year old travel on his own? Surely this is neglect?
The headline should be '6 year old gets on public bus on his own'. Astounded that any parent would think it acceptable to let a 6 year old travel on his own? Surely this is neglect? LizPerrella
  • Score: 10

9:44pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Minnie Haha says...

LizPerrella wrote:
The headline should be '6 year old gets on public bus on his own'. Astounded that any parent would think it acceptable to let a 6 year old travel on his own? Surely this is neglect?
What mother sends a 6 year old on public transport travelling on his own? The bus driver isn't a child carer. The river the child walked by is a stream so how exaggerated was that! I cannot believe the Journal thought this as news worthy. How embarrassing, the Mother should be ashamed in not acting like a caring Parent. I used to walk my 3 children to school, no buses, but we enjoyed our quality time communicating and planning the time they would be coming out of school. The youngest was 6 weeks old then in a pram so the walk was good for all of us. A lesson to be learned. Don't blame the bus company for your Incompetence and attitude. I feel sorry for your son and your new baby, you don't deserve to be a mother.
[quote][p][bold]LizPerrella[/bold] wrote: The headline should be '6 year old gets on public bus on his own'. Astounded that any parent would think it acceptable to let a 6 year old travel on his own? Surely this is neglect?[/p][/quote]What mother sends a 6 year old on public transport travelling on his own? The bus driver isn't a child carer. The river the child walked by is a stream so how exaggerated was that! I cannot believe the Journal thought this as news worthy. How embarrassing, the Mother should be ashamed in not acting like a caring Parent. I used to walk my 3 children to school, no buses, but we enjoyed our quality time communicating and planning the time they would be coming out of school. The youngest was 6 weeks old then in a pram so the walk was good for all of us. A lesson to be learned. Don't blame the bus company for your Incompetence and attitude. I feel sorry for your son and your new baby, you don't deserve to be a mother. Minnie Haha
  • Score: 14

8:48pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Mr Bigglesworth says...

Its ironic that the mother of this delightful child cares so much for his welfare when he's wandering around near streams and kidnappers, yet the second he returns to the house provided to them, by the hard working taxpayer, he can run around like a feral animal. Damaging play parks and peoples property. I can also confirm that the language this charming woman
Its ironic that the mother of this delightful child cares so much for his welfare when he's wandering around near streams and kidnappers, yet the second he returns to the house provided to them, by the hard working taxpayer, he can run around like a feral animal. Damaging play parks and peoples property. I can also confirm that the language this charming woman Mr Bigglesworth
  • Score: 4

8:55pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Mr Bigglesworth says...

(2/2)....uses on a regular basis, at high enough volume for the whole of Wilton to hear, is akin to an old sailor or a dockyard worker. Now we come to the issue of how busy this charming lady is during the day, well my goodness, 8 hours of smoking and shouting must really take it out of you. The benefit money is well earned every single day. I commend you. I do hope Salisbury Journal didn't part with too much cash for this, I would hate to see that money go to waste on such cheap, plastic bottled, clear cider. I'm off to read some more non stories...good day.
(2/2)....uses on a regular basis, at high enough volume for the whole of Wilton to hear, is akin to an old sailor or a dockyard worker. Now we come to the issue of how busy this charming lady is during the day, well my goodness, 8 hours of smoking and shouting must really take it out of you. The benefit money is well earned every single day. I commend you. I do hope Salisbury Journal didn't part with too much cash for this, I would hate to see that money go to waste on such cheap, plastic bottled, clear cider. I'm off to read some more non stories...good day. Mr Bigglesworth
  • Score: 6

12:22am Mon 11 Aug 14

mel n jordan says...

Funny that. Your willing to write n make up load of rubbish online but you can't come and say it to me. Or complain if my step sons being bad. And if this is who I think it is its funny how you don't say something until you move away and if it is you your a person that shouts and threatens women that have a baby in their arms.
Funny that. Your willing to write n make up load of rubbish online but you can't come and say it to me. Or complain if my step sons being bad. And if this is who I think it is its funny how you don't say something until you move away and if it is you your a person that shouts and threatens women that have a baby in their arms. mel n jordan
  • Score: -3

12:26am Mon 11 Aug 14

mel n jordan says...

And make a point for me what has he broke. Part from a rotted old fence which I fixed.
And make a point for me what has he broke. Part from a rotted old fence which I fixed. mel n jordan
  • Score: -3

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