Shropshire

Taxi driver left boy to walk two miles to school

A nine-year-old boy was left to walk two miles to school on his own in Shropshire after a taxi driver dropped him in the wrong place.

The boy, from Stirchley in Telford, should have been taken to school but had instead been left at his home.

Finding no-one at the house, the child made his way to school alone.

Telford and Wrekin Council said in future if a child was not handed over to a teacher, parent or carer, the taxi firm's contract would be terminated.

A spokesman described it as an "extremely serious incident" which could have been disastrous.

Laura Johnston, the council's interim director for children's services, said what happened on 25 November was a "clear contravention of what is expected within our contract of the taxi firm".

Systems 'more robust'

The police were alerted when the council had been told that the boy had not arrived at school.

"While we were trying to find out where he was, the boy turned up at the school," she said.

The problem arose after the taxi operator gave the wrong instruction to the driver.

"However the driver was also at fault for not checking someone was there," Ms Johnston said.

The council has contracts with five taxi firms and Ms Johnston said the one involved in the incident had made sure their systems were "more robust".

Representatives of the taxi firm have met with the boy's family and apologised for the incident. The driver involved has been taken off all council work.

Ms Johnston said the boy's mother has accepted the apology and was not taking any further action.

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