A day’s outing to Thorpe Park couldn’t have started better for 64 sixth form students and five members of staff at Westlands Secondary School, Sittingbourne.

They were aboard a Chalkwell coach which arrived at the park on time and the group from the school all thoroughly enjoyed their day out.

However, it was a completely different scenario on their return to Sittingbourne.

Miss Jeanette Taylor, sixth form pastoral support manager, takes up the story:  “It was a journey from hell because of the awful traffic situation in Kent with motorway closures causing accidents and massive days.

“The lorry stacking on the M20 is having a knock-on effect across the county.

“We left Thorpe Park at 5.30 pm expecting to be back at Westlands around 7.30 pm.  In the event, we didn’t get back until 9.45 pm.”

And in an email to Chalkwell, she added:  “But I would like to take this opportunity to extend our ultimate thanks to our driver, Robert Peacock, for his understanding, patience and kindness which went beyond the call of duty.

“He was fantastic, couldn’t have been more pleasant or accommodating.  He got us to toilet and refreshment stops as soon as he was able to and this kept the students happy.

“His professionalism is a true credit to Chalkwell.”

Said Annette, Chalkwell Coach Reservations Assistant:  “It is lovely to receive some praise and recognition in such very difficult circumstances for ourselves and our hirers.”