STAFF had to rescue 30 pupils stranded seven miles from school after a mistake in their morning journey.

Rosso bus has apologised to the youngsters attending The Valley Leadership Academy after the driver bypassed the Stacksteads secondary and instead took them to Todmorden ­­— across the Yorkshire border.

Tuesday’s error followed confusion the previous day when many students from Britannia in Bacup were left waiting at bus stops on Rochdale Road unaware that the new service 8 route, which came into effect this week, no longer went down it.

Parent Karen Smith, whose 11-year-old daughter Isobel is a Year 7 pupil, branded the new service ‘a shambles’.

In November Rosso gave notice to Lancashire County Council it planned to scrap several services in Rossendale but they agreed to reroute the 8 in term time via The Valley, formerly Fearns Community Sports College. The new service does not go down Rochdale Road in Britannia.

Mrs Smith, from Sandby Close, said: “On Monday my daughter and her friends waited for the school bus but it never came because we had not been informed properly. Parents had to get their children to school late.

“Then the following day the bus missed out The Valley Academy completely and dropped the children in Todmorden miles away. The school had to rescue the stranded pupils. It’s a shambles. We just want a safe and reliable school bus service.”

Phil Harris, service delivery manager for Rosso: “On Tuesday morning unfortunately we observed the school holiday route on the 8 instead of the school day route. As soon as this was realised we took steps to ensure all customers reached the correct destination.

“Unfortunately against our advice some students chose to leave the bus before we could drop them off at school.

“We apologise sincerely for any upset caused and measures have been put in place to ensure this will not happen again.”

A spokeswoman for the academy said: “We are aware of an incident on Tuesday where some of our pupils who were travelling to school using a publicly-run bus service were taken to the wrong destination. The safety of our pupils is paramount and once we were made aware of the situation we immediately arranged for the affected 30 pupils to be transported back to school. The bus company has assured us this was an isolated incident.”

Mr Harris said changes to the service 8 route had been well advertised in advance of this week’s implementation, including maps published on social media.