Tram bosses have vowed to investigate after two young children were left stranded at a stop when a tram set off with their frantic mum still on board.
Lori Doyle, 38, was left ‘hysterical’ when she was split up from two of her three young children while riding the tram home from a Fleetwood shopping trip.
As I went towards the door it started beeping so I pressed the button, but it just closed in my face and before I knew it the tram set off
She says she told Annabella, 10, and Steffan Kendrick, four, to leave the tram at Rossall Square – but as she was about to follow with two-year-old Madison, the doors closed in her face and the tram set off, leaving Annabella and Steffan stranded alone at the stop.
She said: “As I went towards the door it started beeping so I pressed the button, but it just closed in my face and before I knew it the tram set off.
“I started shouting ‘open the door, open the door!’
“I was screaming ‘please stop the tram, my children are out there’.”
The full-time mum, who lives on Southfleet Avenue with her delivery driver partner Daniel, said that despite the tram conductor alerting the driver and several other passengers urging him to stop the ride, the tram continued for 400 yards to the next stop at Broadwater.
She said: “I was in a blind panic and didn’t even think of the emergency stop button.
“I started running down the road as fast as I could.
“My daughter is only 10 and has ADHD and she shouldn’t be looking after another child on her own.
“I knew that where they got off at Rossall another tram crosses on the opposite side shortly after.
“I was praying ‘oh God, please don’t let them cross’ in case they got hit by the tram.”
Distressed and with a crying toddler in tow, Lori rushed to her sister Louise Wells, who lives nearby.
She immediately jumped into her car and went to pick up Annabella and Steffan, who were reunited with their mum after being found waiting at Rossall Square tram stop.
Lori has now praised her daughter for her calm response, comforting her brother as they waited for help to arrive. Lori said: “I’m very proud of her and we’re giving her every credit. If it had just been Steffan on his own things could have ended very differently.”
She added that the family had made a complaint to Blackpool Transport, and now hope their story will lead to further safety measures.
She said: “We don’t want anything from them, we want something to be put in place to make sure something like this never happens again. If two little children left alone at a tram stop isn’t an emergency, what is?
“It was the worst 10 minutes of my life. I keep thinking what I could have done differently. God forbid it happens again and someone gets killed.”
A Blackpool Transport spokesman said: “We are currently carrying out a full and thorough investigation into the incident.”