A DRIVER has been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing after apparently ignoring a frantic dad’s pleas to let his little boy get off his Stagecoach bus.

Dad Darren Price’s cries for help could clearly be heard on CCTV as he hammered on the door and watched in horror as the vehicle pulled out of Birkenhead bus station on Saturday.

Five-year-old Georgie had been swept onto the vehicle with a crowd of passengers after his family realised it was the wrong bus.

Darren and his wife, Helen, were taking their three children to Blue Planet Aquarium to celebrate their daughter, Helen’s birthday.

Darren, aged 40, of New Hey Road, Woodchurch, said: “I turned away and noticed that Georgie had disappeared. I immediately knew he had mistakenly boarded the bus.

“I ran after the bus and was banging on the sides and the front door.

“I shouted and screamed at the driver - but despite my pleas, and shouts from other passengers, he just didn’t stop.

“I could see my son crying near the back of the bus. I ran after it to the next stop in Argyle Street. The bus was gone. I panicked and feared the worst.”

Darren then spotted a woman crossing the road with his son.

He said: “My son was sobbing his little heart out. I cannot thank that lady enough for what she did but the driver should never have let him go with a stranger.”

Georgie’s mum, Helen, aged 39, who stayed at the bus station, reassuring their other two children, Helen, aged three, and Harvey, aged six, said: “I was absolutely traumatised.

“Georgie could either have ended up in Chester alone or left the bus in the middle of nowhere.

“If it wasn’t for that woman, he could have been in the hands of anyone, a paedophile or murderer.

“We did eventually go to the Blue Planet but getting on the bus home, Georgie said: ‘Hold my hand, mummy.’ “He was hanging onto my coat with his right hand and holding my hand with the left. If he could, he’d go under your skin, he is so nervous.

“I am eternally grateful to this lady and would love to give her something of appreciation.

“But Stagecoach handed him to a complete stranger.

“Safeguarding children should be their number one priority.

“Why didn’t that driver keep my son safe? I might not have tucked him into bed that night.”

Georgie’s parents made an official complaint to Stagecoach.

Helen said: “A man from Stagecoach told me they looked at the bus CCTV and could clearly see my husband banging on the door and they managed to get audio as well.

“The camera also shows the lady speaking to the driver but he still let my son get off his bus with a stranger.”

A spokesman for Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire said: “We are very sorry for the distress caused to the family and can confirm the bus driver has been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.”

The disciplinary hearing is on Wednesday.