A bus driver has been accused of ‘deliberately endangering’ the life of a young girl and ‘kidnap’.
Transport Chiefs have today apologised to a 16-year-old girl who was put at grave risk by being left miles from home in the middle of the night by a female bus driver.
Vanessa Lucien’s valid temporary bus pass was taken from her at 11pm on August 2 by the bus driver of the 207 Southall to White City service.
The driver ended up taking Vanessa miles from her home in Southall until she finally gave her back her valid pass at Gypsy Corner in North Acton , where she left the vulnerable schoolgirl alone at 12.30am on Sunday morning.
By this point she had been reported missing by her distraught mother. Police finally found her at 1.30am. Transport for London have now issued an apology.
Vanessa, who had got on the bus at West Ealingl, said: “I knew my bus pass was valid so I couldn’t understand why she took it away. I kept asking her to check it again but she wouldn’t. When we got to my home stop she again refused to give it back so I told my disabled brother Anthony and 11-year-old sister Tiana to go home and tell mum what was happening and I stayed on the bus as she had stolen my property. The driver became really angry and told me she’d call the police which I was quite happy for her to do but she didn’t wait for them to turn up. She then closed the doors and turned the lights off and drove me away from my family.
“Finally after driving for miles she looked again at the pass and literally threw it at me. She opened the doors and told me to get off the bus. I had no idea where I was. I was on the side of a big motorway, I had no phone and had to stop a passing woman who luckily phoned the police for me.”
Vanessa’s mother Rose Lucien said: “Vanessa had gone to collect Tiana from a birthday party in West Ealing which is just down the road from where we live. So when Tiana and Anthony (who is autistic) came back without her I was horrified to hear that the bus driver had apparently driven off with my daughter. I immediately went to the police station to tell them what had happened and that she was missing. It was a Saturday night. That TfL driver had kidnapped my daughter and deliberately endangered her life and she should be prosecuted. She was incredibly vulnerable. Anything could have happened to her on that road at Gypsy Corner. She could have been mugged, murdered or raped. The police brought Vanessa home at 2am distraught and very shaken up.”
Ken Davidson, TfL’s Head of Bus Operations, said: “We do offer our sincere apologies to Miss Lucien who experienced a problem when using a temporary travel ticket on a route 207 bus recently. We can confirm this ticket was valid and should not have been retained by the bus driver. A full investigation into this incident is ongoing.”
A police spokesman said: “On Sunday, August 3, at 00:36hrs police received a report of a missing 16-year-old girl. An image of the girl was circulated to all local police units. The girl was found by police at a bus stop in North Acton at approximately 01:25hrs and was returned home.”
No criminal allegations have as yet been made over the incident.