Wales

Sat-nav mix up leaves pupils in Towyn not Tywyn

A sat-nav device
Image caption Pupils phoned parents to say they would be late after the sat-nav mistake

A sat-nav mix up left a coach load of school pupils almost 80 miles from home after a trip to Paris.

The children from Tywyn, on the west coast of Wales in Gwynedd, ended up a couple of hours away at Towyn, on the north Wales coast near Rhyl.

The coach firm said the driver entered the wrong place in his sat-nav.

Ysgol Uwchradd Tywyn head teacher Helen Lewis said the mistake was common, with deliveries sometimes wrongly sent to Towyn.

The 37 children, aged 11 to 14, had spent three nights in the French capital and were heading home overnight.

Pupils woke up after the 13-hour journey and phoned parents to say they were in the wrong town.

Ms Lewis said: "The driver, when he was told Tywyn, had made the incorrect assumption it was Towyn.

"It is something that happens a lot here although it is the first time we had a group of pupils end up in the wrong place.

"We have had deliveries wrongly sent to Towyn.

"The children were tired because it was a long journey anyway so the extra couple of hours wouldn't have made a difference. They'd had a brilliant time."

It is thought the mistake happened after the coach had changed drivers at Shrewsbury.

Some parents were said to be angry about the incident but others were less concerned.

Gwynedd councillor Louise Hughes, a school governor whose daughter was on the trip, said: "I wouldn't want anyone to lose their job over this - that would be an over-reaction.

"The main thing is they all got back safely.

"Delivery drivers make the same mistake and people ring saying 'we can't find you, we're in Towyn'. It happens all the time."

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