Spiteful bus driver gets sack
AN IPSWICH school bus driver has been sacked after deliberately driving off and leaving a boy stranded - to teach him a lesson.
The driver for Ipswich company Westside Buses admitted to deliberately shutting the doors on the school student who was running late for the bus before leaving him behind at the bus stop outside Winston Glades Shopping Centre at Flinders View.
At 7.15am on Tuesday, brothers Sam O'Brien, 17, and Nicholas, 15, boarded the school bus on Reif St while 14-year-old brother Bayley trailed behind.
The frustrated bus driver stepped from the bus and demanded the St Edmunds student hurry up as he was running late.
As Bayley approached the bus, the driver returned to his seat shutting the doors in the face of the student before driving off.
After being contacted by his sons, father Stephen O'Brien headed to the school confronting the driver over the incident.
Mr O'Brien said the driver's behaviour was disgraceful and an example had to be set.
"He was not only left at the bus stop, the driver slammed the door in his face," Mr O'Brien said.
"This isn't the first time Westside Bus Company has done this. I'm way past annoyed.
"After my last complaint they put all these processes in place so they would not do this again.
"Well guess what...they have."
Mr O'Brien immediately contacted Bus Queensland, the operator of Westside Buses, about the incident, demanding action be taken against the driver.
The QT understands the driver has a poor disciplinary record and has now been sacked.
Bus Queensland CEO Vernon Alcantra confirmed the incident had occurred.
"We spoke to the driver who offered no excuse," Mr Alcantra said. "We are currently looking into his record and will be taking disciplinary action."
It's the latest in a growing list of Ipswich school bus problems including a case where a driver was physically assaulted by the mother of a school boy at Marburg.
The Flinders View incident continues a poor record for Westside which was forced to discipline a driver in March after he verbally abused parents and shunted cars outside a primary school in Woodend.
Mr Alcantra said while all complaints are investigated, any incident where a child is left behind is taken very seriously.
"In this case, the kid wanted to get on the bus and we didn't allow him and that is unacceptable," he said.
"We can put processes in place for many issues but one thing you can't plan for is when a driver does something silly.
"There is silly, dumb or unacceptable and this falls into the last category."
Mr O'Brien urged parents to report these issues when they occur.
"People need to ring the bus company and report these things when they happen," he said.
When asked if his boys would resume catching the bus now that the driver had been sacked, Mr O'Brien said "no way".
"The days of my boys catching Westside buses are over."