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Taxi service safety blasted by villagers

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By Joseph Gartly
Dumfries and West
Taxi service safety blasted by villagers

CHILDREN’S safety on a bus replacement service has been highlighted, after claims the driver set off with the door still open.

The decision to replace the former 6A public bus – through Caerlaverock, Bankend and Dumfries – by a taxi has caused an outcry.
And villager David Grieve, of Bankend, claims the new service, which started before Christmas, is unfit for purpose.
He said: “There is a disabled woman who cannot use the bus now and there is very limited room for people to get on.
“I have seen people getting turned away.”
He added: “Even when we are able to board, there is no room for any shopping or even my wife’s walking stick, so we are very limited as to what we can do.”
He is particularly worried about the primary pupils who travel on it daily and claims children as young as four and five are having to shut the door of the taxi.
Mr Grieve said: “There was one incident where the child could not shut the door and the driver drove off.
“The children were screaming.
“If this can happen, then more serious incidents may occur.”
Fed up of the situation, he has contacted Dumfries and Galloway Council to question the decision and has tried to lodged a formal complaint.
But he said: “I attempted to make a complaint, and I was told a complaint cannot be made unless another complaint was made.
“By that logic, no-one can ever complain.”
Responding, a council spokesman yesterday said: “Due to staff illness within DG buses there was a very short term need to use an external contractor to provide this service which covers a small number of school pupils.
“This arrangement is no longer required, however we received no complaints or adverse comments from parents or the school regarding the service.
“It should be pointed out this is a school service not a public passenger service, non school passengers are able to travel in an entirely discretionary basis.
“We’ve received no complaints from parents or schools in relation to pupil safety, therefore it would be unfair to claim that the taxi drove off with the door open.
“The council is not permitted under the law to provide bus services that are not linked with school transport.”

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