Bus mad Alfie’s great day out

Alfie with his certificate and (left) Stagecoach assistant operations manager Alex Ratcliffe and (right) dad Jason.

Alfie with his certificate and (left) Stagecoach assistant operations manager Alex Ratcliffe and (right) dad Jason.

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BUS mad Alfie Wigley enjoyed a great family day out when Stagecoach Yorkshire set the wheels in motion for a VIP tour of its depot in Rawmarsh.

After the transport firm heard the three-year-old was due to go into hospital for an operation, they arranged a special trip for him and his family to visit their depot.

Little Alfie has a rare condition called Microtia, which means he was born without properly formed outer ears, and has problems hearing.

During his depot visit, the Denaby youngster got to sit in the driver’s seat of a single decker and was given the chance to get a feel for the steering wheel.

And the excitement didn’t stop there, as he also got to set the destination board to his favourite 221 service, which runs near his grandmother’s home in Ennerdale Close, Mexborough.

Alfie also watched buses being cleaned inside and out and chatted with several drivers.

The youngster went to the depot with his grandmother, Sandra Rogerson, and mum and dad, Gaynor and Jason Wigley, of Denaby.

After the tour, he was presented with a certificate to commemorate his special day.

He also received various gifts, including sweets and a toy, which had been kindly donated by Stagecoach and the Rawmarsh Depot Sports and Social Club.

Grandma Sandra, a longtime campaigner for better bus services in the Dearne, said: “He loved every single minute of his visit and all the people there were so kind and made us extremely welcome.

“Alfie is mad on buses and he loves travelling on them.

“He’s only three but he knows where all the different services run to.

“It was a dream come true for him to actually go to the depot and see how it all works.”

The visit came about after Stagecoach Yorkshire driver Carol Bainbridge met Alfie and his grandmother and was told about his condition and his interest in buses.

Alex Ratcliffe, Rawmarsh depot assistant operations manager, said: “It was a tremendous privilege for us to show Alfie round the depot.

“We pride ourselves on being at the heart of the community and we really do care about our customers, no matter how young they are.

“Alfie had the time of his life and everybody who met him couldn’t believe how enthusiastic he was about buses and how much he knew.”