Oaklands to Welwyn Garden City bus pass dispute

Marion Turner and Sam Brett at the bus stop opposite the North Star pub in Oaklands, Welwyn after th

Marion Turner and Sam Brett at the bus stop opposite the North Star pub in Oaklands, Welwyn after they bought bus passes for their children on the advice of Arriva, but have now found out that they don't cover Oaklands bustops. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Parents have lodged complaints with a bus company after being told their children’s £300 bus passes are not valid between Oaklands and Welwyn Garden City.

Mums Sam Brett and Marion Turner bought the Welwyn Hatfield zone passes so that their 12-year-old sons could travel from Oaklands, Welwyn, to get to Monk’s Walk School in Welwyn Garden City.

Mrs Brett said they both phoned Arriva to ask which passes they would need to buy before going ahead with the purchases.

There is a stop in The Avenue and one opposite the North Star pub in Oaklands, which is the one Mrs Brett’s son has been getting on at.

But Mrs Brett said: “They say they’re not covered by the Welwyn Hatfield zone.

“They’re now saying we have to buy an all zone ticket which is £500, which covers the whole of Hertfordshire.

“Those stops are 200m apart but they’re saying the last stop in the Welwyn Hatfield zone is at St Mary’s Church and it doesn’t extend to The Avenue or the North Star.

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“My argument is why aren’t we covered in Welwyn Hatfield when our address is Welwyn?”

Mrs Brett is keen to see the situation resolved to save the boys the embarrassment of getting on the bus and being told they haven’t got the right ticket, however she has not had much success.

She said: “There’s no compromise.

“They say ‘you’re not covered by the ticket you bought’.

“I think paying a little bit extra on the £300 ticket would be a compromise.”

Mrs Brett believes there are probably other parents in the same boat and there may be more come September time.

She added; “I have emailed customer services [on June 27] to lodge a complaint and I need a resolution quite quickly because I have a 12-year-old that needs to get to school.

“Marion emailed them on Tuesday, June 26.

“Before emailing we both spoke to them on the phone.

“They said ‘you had cheap bus rides for the last few months and be grateful for it’ but that doesn’t help our situation.”

An Arriva spokesperson told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “A child Welwyn and Hatfield annual zone ticket should be valid between Oaklands Welwyn and Monk’s Walk School, provided a Herts Saver Card is also used in conjunction with the ticket.

“Our customer feedback is important to us and we’ll be investigating the complaint with our drivers to get to the bottom of the issue.”