August 22 2014 Latest news:
David Bale and Peter Walsh
Sunday, May 25, 2014
A firm has launched an investigation after passengers forked out for taxis home from a London gig after problems on the coach that was travelling to Norwich.
A group of about 30 people were travelling from an Arctic Monkeys concert in London back to Norwich when drama unfolded in the early hours of Saturday.
Aaron McMillan, 19, from Lowestoft, was on the Chenery Live service with his brother Jordan, 21, and his mother Louise, 46.
The coach was taking fans of the British rock group from Finsbury Park in north London, where the concert was held, back to Norwich, but the driver was not allowed to continue after Colchester. It meant that all the passengers had to make their way home on their own.
Mr McMillan said he and his family took a taxi from Colchester to Lowestoft, which cost £99, and they arrived back home at 3am.
He said: “The coach was supposed to pick us up at Finsbury Park at 10.30pm on Friday but did not arrive until midnight.
“As we started on the way back we all went to sleep. But as we got to the turn-off on the A12 for the Colchester United football stadium, I was awoken by the sound of car horns coming past the outside of the coach.
“The coach was swerving across the road. I was sitting towards the back.
“But people sitting nearer the front were calling for the driver to pull over.”
The coach pulled up at a BP garage opposite the football stadium, and Mr McMillan added: “We all got off the coach. We were all stranded there.
“In the end it’s just money for the taxi and I’m glad we all got home safely, as it could have been a lot worse.”
He said he did not believe any accidents had been caused.
Elizabeth Wilkin, 21, a student nurse at the University of East Anglia, was another passenger who got a taxi back to her home in Hellesdon.
Miss Wilkin and her partner Mark Price, 26, had been to see the Arctic Monkeys after she bought him tickets for a birthday treat.
She described being awoken by a prolonged beep from another car and people in the coach questioning whether the driver was awake.
She said: “He started going into the middle of the road.”
After they stopped at Colchester Miss Wilkin decided to pay £104 to get a taxi back to Norwich with two other people.
She said: “I was not going to get back on that bus for love nor money.”
David Jones, day excursion and cruise manager at Galloway Coach Travel Ltd, which owns Chenery Live, said: “We are aware that there was a problem, however it’s under investigation.
“And until that investigation is complete, I am unable to comment any further.”
Were you one of the passengers on the coach? Email firstname.lastname@example.org