There appears to be even more problems with Newcastle’s private transport operator Keolis Downer.

Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp has been told by parents at St Pius X High School that buses have failed to pick their children up leaving them with no choice but to take them to school themselves.

On one occasion, a parent says the 816 bus that takes her son from The Junction to St Pius X High School failed to turn up twice.

Tim Crakanthorp says it’s just not on.

“There’s a lot wrong with this private operator at this point, but I’ve got real concerns with school kids being left alone on the side of the road with buses not turning up. That’s a real problem.”

Keolis Downer is already facing a lot of criticism across the board for their treatment of their drivers by underpaying them, not directly paying payments to superannuation and private healthcare, and also not handing over complete uniforms.

“It’s up to this government to pull them into line, they’ve got a contract with them and there are rewards for increasing patronage, but I want to know if there are any penalties for missing kids, leaving kids on the side of the road and putting their health and safety at risk. That’s what I want to know,” said Tim Crakanthorp.

He says he’ll be raising the issue in Parliament this week.

“I’m calling on Minister Constance to take control of this situation as we’ve had kids missed for buses for school on numerous occasions. So with over 300 bus services missed this minister really needs to step in ad pull this company into line. It’s just not good enough.”