Bungling coach driver takes school children on 80 mile diversion after misspelling Welsh town in his sat nav by one letter

Bungling coach driver takes school children on 80 mile diversion after misspelling Welsh town in his sat nav by one letter
He typed in Towyn instead of Tywyn, which is on a different coast
Pupils and teachers faced two-hour detour at the end of 13-hour trip
Bus company has apologised and driver faces disciplinary hearing

By
Zac Fine

PUBLISHED:

14:33 GMT, 18 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:53 GMT, 18 April 2013

A coachload of schoolchildren was taken 80 miles in the wrong direction in the middle of the night after a driver misspelt their destination by just one letter.

The driver accidentally typed Towyn into his satellite navigation system, then promptly drove to the village near the seaside resort of Rhyl in north Wales.

Unfortunately, his sleepy passengers had hoped to wake up in Tywyn, near Cardigan Bay in
west Wales.

The Llew Jones International coach, like the one pictured above, was returning from Paris

The Llew Jones International coach, like the one pictured above, was returning from Paris

The blunder occurred when the coach swapped drivers at Shrewsbury towards the end of a 13-hour journey following a trip to Paris.

Parents of the 37 pupils aged 11 to 14, from Ysgol Uwchradd Tywyn, were left waiting to collect their children for an extra two hours on Tuesday morning.

Sue Williams, whose daughter Sian was on the coach, said: ‘The teachers and the kids all fell asleep on the bus and when they woke up they realised they were going a different way to what they normally know.’

The teachers and children were mistakenly taken to Towyn in north Wales instead of Tywyn which is 77 miles away

The teachers and children were taken to Towyn in north Wales instead of Tywyn which is 77 miles away

Mrs Williams added: ‘They ended up in Towyn, and then took an extra hour and a half to get back home, to the correct town.

‘I'm not happy at all by what happened, especially because Sian suffers from travel sickness and so do a few other kids.’

The driver took the pupils and teachers to Towyn, Conwy, before delivering them to Tywyn, Gwynedd, above

The driver took the pupils and teachers to Towyn, Conwy, before delivering them to Tywyn, Gwynedd, above

Cllr
Louise Hughes, whose daughter was also on the trip with 36 other
pupils, said: ‘I was very annoyed by what happened. I am glad they all
got back safely.

‘Delivery drivers make the same mistake and people ring, saying, “We can’t find you, we’re in Towyn”. It happens all the time.’

‘It
really was a ridiculous mistake to make. I don't understand how the
driver could have got it so wrong, there is a 77-mile difference between
both towns, they are in different counties and have a completely
different spelling.’

The group of 37 pupils spent five days in Paris, pictured, on the school trip (file picture)

The group of 37 pupils spent five days in Paris, pictured, on the school trip (file picture)

A
spokesman for Llew Jones International said: ‘We have spoken to the
driver of the coach and he was clearly instructed to go to Tywyn in
Meirionnydd.

‘He had then inputted the wrong town into his sat nav and took the passengers to Towyn, near Rhyl.

‘The driver is not from the area, and the situation will now be dealt with in a disciplinary hearing.

‘We apologise for any inconvenience this has have caused.’