A SCHOOL bus operator has apologised after pupils at a Bridgwater school were forced to sit on the floor for more than 20 miles during a recent journey.

First West of Somerset operates the 75 bus service, which transports pupils to Bridgwater and Taunton College from Wells, Glastonbury, Street and other settlements on or near the A39.

Tina Emery, the parent of one pupil at the school, took to social media on September 14 to complain that pupils had to sit on the floor during their journey home after only a single-decker bus was provided.

First has apologised, describing the incident as “a short-term blip”, and has given assurances to Somerset Council (which commissions school transport) that this will not happen again.

Ms Emery took to X (formerly Twitter) on September 14, posting images of children attempting to board the 75 bus at the end of that school day.

She criticises Buses of Somerset – the trading name for First South West – and threatened to report the company to the government’s Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).

She posted: “So, Buses of Somerset, because you keep sending single decker buses to Bridgwater and Taunton College, am I going to finish my working day at work or am I going to have to leave early to pick up my autistic, concessionary bus pass young person as there is no room for him and others and contact VOSA?

“[There were] children standing up, sitting on the floor and on dashboard getting home on a 20-mile or more journey. Unacceptable.”

A spokesperson for First West of England responded: “The issue last week was a short-term blip with vehicle availability.

“We apologise to those who had to stand during their journey; however, at all times the safe design capacity of the bus was not exceeded.

“We have since resolved these issues, and from this week these services will be operated with double decker buses.”

A spokesman for Somerset Council said: “Following discussions between the council and First West of England, we have received assurances that journeys on service 75, operating to and from the Bridgwater and Taunton College campus, will now be operated using double decker buses.”