Belfast Telegraph

Bride's wedding day 'overshadowed' by late bus

By Jenna Gardiner

A Belfast woman has told of her disappointment after some of her guests missed her wedding due to the failure of a bus company to collect them on time.

Lynne and Andrew Brownlee feel that their special day was overshadowed by the Allen's Tours, their bus provider.

Four of their guests missed the big day and the rest were almost an hour late due to the service provided by Allen's Tours, a company that run bus tours of Belfast.

Guests claimed they were "terrified" and "left shaken" after the driver on the way home repeatedly drove on the wrong side of the road, saying that he had only lived here for two weeks.

Catherine Lamour, a family friend of the Brownlees who was on the bus, said the journey home was "like something from a nightmare".

"A woman sat in front of me was worried she wouldn't make it home to her children, and grown men were shaking as they eventually got off the bus."

She said that when asked to pull over to check directions rather than swerving on the road, the driver "shouted at us and continued driving".

Lynne Brownlee had previously arranged with the company to transport her guests from the Shankill Road to the Rosspark Hotel in Kells for a fee of £300.

She said that she believed the actions of the company had overshadowed her big day.

"It was all my guests talked about - how awful the bus was and how badly they were treated was the talk of the wedding and the day after," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

Friends and family waiting to travel to the wedding were left by the side of the road for almost an hour, when two minibuses eventually showed up, rather than the agreed 35-seater coach.

The 26-year-old bride phoned the company as she travelled to her wedding with her dad, and was told by an employee "we're busy, don't be so cheeky", and that the bus was on its way.

The minibuses arrived along with a mechanic, who claimed he had been sent by Allen's Tours "just in case the bus breaks down on the way", according to Ms Lamour.

The incident resulted in the wedding on July 29 being postponed by an hour and four guests missing the celebration altogether.

Both Catherine and Lynne repeatedly expressed their shock and disgust at the service given by Allen's Tours.

Lynne claims she has been "passed from pillar to post" when trying to discuss the matter with the owner.

"Even when on honeymoon the next week, I had to phone them every day and only on Sunday (August 12) did I finally get to speak to Ben (Allen), the owner".

The frustrated bride said Ben responded asking: "Did they make it from A to B?" and "if they didn't miss the wedding dinner then what is the problem?"

She claims he then ended the call, and has been unable to get in contact with anyone since.

When asked about the incident, Allen's Tours declined to address the issue of its service.

Lynne has since told the Belfast Telegraph that in her phone call she addressed the issue, saying: "I paid you for a service that you failed to provide" after being told the bus was on its way.

Belfast Telegraph

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