A single mum on benefits claims she was told by a bus operating company to “get a taxi” when her service was cut due to staff shortages at the weekend.

Jackie Hollands, 33, of Watersedge, was waiting for the Quality Line E5 bus service on September 22 to take her home from Epsom town centre, where she took her 9-year old son Liam to go swimming.

She said she phoned her local bus garage when the service she usually gets from the bus stop on Chase Road at 12.07pm failed to arrive.

Ms Hollands, who described herself as a full-time carer, said she and her son had to walk home in the pouring rain.

The single mum said: “I phoned up the bus company, the person on the phone told me to get a taxi with my son - but I am a single parent on benefits.

“A lot of old people people were waiting for the bus. We had to walk home. It took us over an hour and we had to stop every now and again.

“My son has got asthma, ADHD and he’s got things with his legs.”

A spokesperson for RATP Dev, which runs Quality Line buses, said: “We can confirm that our Quality Line E5 service was cut on Saturday 22 September which was regrettably due to a shortage of staff.

“The situation is being addressed and we aim to have the matter resolved at the earliest opportunity.

“We would like to apologise to any customers affected by this for the inconvenience caused.”