THE owner of a Clacks bus company which left 40 children stranded after school has said he is "sick" of parents complaining.

Tom Matchett, who owns M-Line International, has come under fire from angry parents after he pulled a private bus service without any warning or notice.

For a number of years, the firm had a private agreement with a group of parents whose children live outside the catchment area for bus pass travel, with the kids paying £1 each way for the service.

However, M-Line chose to withdraw the set up, at a time when many families were dealing with the recent fiasco with bus passes not being issued properly by the council.

As a result, around 40 children were left stranded at Alva Academy on Tuesday, August 28, after being told by a M-Line driver that the service was no longer being offered by the firm.

The kids were left with no option but to go back into the school to ask what to do before phoning parents to plead for lifts home.

Andrew Fraser, whose daughter was one of the children left, told the Advertiser that families were given no prior warning of the change in service.

He said: "M-Line have been providing the service for years then all of a sudden they [the pupils] were told it is not running anymore.

"The driver, bold as brass, just told the children that the service doesn't exist anymore."

Another parent, Michelle Piper, described her fury at the situation.

She told the Advertiser: "M-line used to offer us a separate mini bus at £1 each way with all profits going to the school.

"M-line done this for many years with no issues as no one else, not even the council, will think of these children.

"There is about 40 children that have been left with no transport. We feel our children are being discriminated [against] because we have chosen to send them out of catchment.

"I was told these children are not on the bus route, but the bus has to go through Tullibody before other pick-ups, so we don't know why this cannot be added onto the route."

Mr Matchett responded to the criticism in a vigorous manner, saying he is "sick of all the nonsense from parents" and adding that there is "only one man trying to support parents".

The owner of the company said: "The parents in question here really have no cause for complaint. It's their decision to put their kids to a school out with the catchment resulting in them being responsible for their own transport.

"I'm basically sick of all of this nonsense from parents and I've done my best for them.

"It appears I've been the only person from education, council or other operators that has put my head up and gave answers and been supportive only to be continually harassed for things that my company are not responsible for.

"I've supported parents for years, but now I'm just sick of the whole thing."

Clackmannanshire Council confirmed that the agreement is private and has nothing to do with them.