Schoolchildren stranded on coach for hours on flooded road

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Dozens of schoolchildren were stranded on a coach for five hours when their route home became impassable.

Students were travelling to west Cumbria from Millom School yesterday afternoon when they got stuck twice on the A595 in flood waters.

Parents have now praised the driver, with bus operator Sims Travel, saying he entertained the children – even encouraging them to complete their homework.

Rachel Putnam's 11-year-old daughter did not get to her Wasdale home until 8.30pm.

She said: "They got stuck on the coach at Muncaster until the water dropped, then got stuck at Holmrook Bridge where another parent picked her up and brought her to Gosforth where my mum collected her and brought her home as I was at home with two younger boys in bed and my husband at work."

And this morning Rachel had to do the one-hour-30-minute journey to take her daughter to school as the bus was not running as the bridge at Holmrook remained closed.

A post on Sims' Facebook page last night said it would not be operating to Millom School as the bridge was closed and "we do not feel it will be safe to travel on the proposed diversion route via Santon Bridge with large coach and volume of extra traffic."

Vicki Jones Bailey's son Samuel, who is also in his first year, was on the bus.

He was unable to attend school today as Sims Travel was not offering transport.

But Vicki said she has received confirmation that the bus will be running tomorrow.

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