Toowoomba girls left behind by bus: Mum raises fears

A TOOWOOMBA mother has been left with concerns about child safety after she reported that her two daughters were not picked up by a bus after school and that it would take several days for an investigation into the incident to unfold.

The woman, who does not wish to be named publicly, reported to TransLink on Tuesday afternoon that the the 905 bus driver left behind her teenage daughters shortly after they finished school at St Saviour's College.

After making a "child left complaint" with TransLink, the woman was told someone would be in touch with her shortly and that at that point an investigation would take five days. There would be no action taken in the interim.

"I understand that there's a process and that it takes time, but when it comes to child safety we're dealing with a whole different kettle of fish and there should be immediate action," she said.

"Considering it was Daniel Morcombe Day last week the legal requirement is that the bus driver must take children," she said.

The mother has questioned why the driver was not removed from duties or a chaperone provided while the investigation took place.

The girls, aged 13 and 15, were "hysterical" when they called their mother on Tuesday afternoon. to report they had been left behind.

"The bus had gone without them and it wasn't as if no one noticed," she said, referring to another passenger to allegedly started banding on the bus to tell the driver to stop.

The girls used a mobile phone to call a relative to collect them but the mother has questioned "what happens to the children who don't have resources?"

"I know he could see us in the mirror coming because he looked at me through it. Before this incident, he's been rude to us when we get on, almost like we were an inconvenience to him or like he didn't want anyone like us to get on," one of the daughters said.

A TransLink spokesman issued a statement yesterday afternoon which read: "Safety is our number one priority and every incident reported involving a child is treated seriously and investigated thoroughly.

"TransLink has contacted Bus Queensland and the children's mother and an investigation is currently under way.

"Any report involving a child is immediately escalated with operators and given top priority by TransLink. Parents or caregivers are asked to report any issues regarding a child's travel across the TransLink network immediately by phoning 13 12 30 anytime (24/7) to solve the issue if it is currently happening or investigate it as a matter of urgency.

"In 2016-17 there were more than 30 million passenger trips taken by school aged students on TransLink's South East Queensland network and there were 132 substantiated incidents where an investigation found a driver had failed to pick up or drop off a child (these incidents are recorded in a category which also includes early/late running school buses and where children did not get off at the correct stop)."

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