Russell Blackstock

Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Workers inconvenienced by school kids

Students could be using their own service.

Kids are using public buses in preference to school buses. Photo / Doug Sherring
Kids are using public buses in preference to school buses. Photo / Doug Sherring

Schoolkids are causing chaos on peak time Auckland buses, although officials say nothing can be done because refusing to take them would infringe students' rights.

Hundreds of children cram on to express morning services to the city from the North Shore and West Auckland instead of using school transport. This is making people late for work as they cannot get on peak time buses.

Fed-up IT worker Stuart Lamont, from Mairangi Bay, said buses filled with children passed his stop twice in recent weeks. "Children pile on at earlier stops and, even if you do get on the bus, people often have to stand for about 40 minutes."

Another regular bus user (who declined to be named) said an express bus driver pulled over and lectured the children on Wednesday. "He asked the kids to stop using the express service because they were causing workers to be late," the man said. "He almost got a round of applause."

Auckland Transport confirmed it has asked for extra services. Spokesman Mark Hannan admitted schoolchildren couldn't be stopped from using regular buses but transport officials had raised concerns with Westlake Girls' High School.

Paul Davis, deputy principal, said the school had received complaints from commuters but insisted students from other Takapuna schools also used the public buses.

- Herald on Sunday

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