A woman who was nine months' pregnant believes she gave birth early due to the stress of waiting "two hours" for a bus.

Under-fire operator Arriva has been slammed again after Elise Elsdon reported her “awful” experience outside Watford General Hospital.

The 22-year-old said that after waiting an hour for the 20 service to arrive, she was stunned to see it drive off without letting people on.

“Everyone was just waiting for the bus and then he stopped, looked at us, smirked, and then drove off again,” she said. “I was like ‘what the hell!’.

“And then the next bus didn’t turn up for another hour.”


Elise, who was trying to get back to her home in The Harebreaks, added: “I was fuming because it was freezing and I was nine months’ pregnant. It was horrible.

“I was aching all over, my stomach started aching, and obviously it was chucking down with rain.”

Elise gave birth that night – eight days ahead of a scheduled caesarean – and blamed stress caused by the incident.

She also said she had to be put to sleep to have the baby after having blood thinning medication earlier that day.

Watford Observer: Elise Elsdon believes the stress of her two-hour bus wait caused her to give birth early.Elise Elsdon believes the stress of her two-hour bus wait caused her to give birth early. (Image: UGC)

Following the incident on Monday, November 21, Arriva said it was investigating with its depot team. Updates to follow.

The same service was said to be involved in a row at around 4pm before it reached the hospital – with a driver refusing to accept passengers after previous cancellations.

Arriva reviewed CCTV for that incident, after which a spokesperson said the driver confirmed the bus was full and he was not comfortable taking on more passengers.

They added: “As he tries to leave the bus stop to continue an already late service, a customer who is still waiting at the bus stop continues to press the emergency ‘door open’ button, which causes the doors to keep opening despite driver efforts to close them.

"The driver states he had no choice but to drive away from the bus stop with bus doors open.”

The bus in the second incident was running late due to "staff shortages at our depot affecting overall services", the spokesperson added.