Local bus driver who went the extra mile

Christopher with mum Bernie, dad Sean and brother Adam
Christopher with mum Bernie, dad Sean and brother Adam

It was an anxious morning on Tuesday, November 4 for Gilford mother Bernie Scullion, but she has praised a local bus driver for his patience and helpfulness in her situation that day.

Bernie had received a call from her son’s school that morning saying he wasn’t well and asking her to come and pick him up - but this wasn’t so straightforward for her.

“I don’t drive and my son Christopher is in a wheelchair” said Bernie.

“He’s not usually unwell but that morning he was running a temperature, so I was just wanted to get him home as quick as possible.

“The school had offered to arrange transport for us but this would have meant a wait, so we decided to get the bus.”

Bernie was not only worried about Christopher feeling unwell but also concerned about getting his wheelchair onto public transport, however when the no 62 12.20pm bus from Banbridge to Gilford came along, the driver could not have been more helpful.

“It was the way the bus driver treated me and Christopher on the bus,” said Bernie.

“He got out of his seat and made sure Christopher was ok and settled before he drove on.

“He couldn’t do enough for us. He really just went the extra mile.

“He gave me lots of information that was so useful - for instance, I had wanted to take Christopher to Belfast but was worried if the bus would have wheelchair facilities.

“He told me I could phone Ulsterbus a day or two before making the journey and they would put on a bus with a lift for us.

“He also told me about other things that would benefit us that I didn’t know about, such as getting a pass for Christopher and he gave me a book with phone numbers in it, so I could contact the right people.

“It’s good to have someone willing to make sure everything is ok.

“Some drivers are just glad to get you onto the bus to get going as quick as they can, but this driver wasn’t like that.

“I know people will say that’s his job but in a world where we always hear about the bad in people, it’s lovely to see someone go that extra bit to make sure all is ok, especially when you have other worries.”

Translink have since located the driver and although he didn’t want to be identified, they have commended him for his behaviour.

A spokesperson for Translink said: “We are delighted that our driver has been recognised for his professional and courteous treatment of this passenger and her son.

“While we would expect this standard of customer service from all our employees, positive feedback from our passengers is always very welcome and tells us we are doing a good job.”

Meanwhile Christopher made a quick recovery and was back to school a day later.

Bernie said: “He’s usually a very healthy child.

“He was happy enough when I got him home and was singing all evening.

“I think he may have just wangled a day off school!”