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We spoke to Coach Innovations after ‘stranded’ Liverpool fans wait hours for bus

Coach Innovations has broken its silence after hundreds of Liverpool fans were left ‘stranded’ outside the Rocket.

Huge groups of Reds were left waiting for hours at the Rocket junction on Friday, May 28, for pre-booked coaches to take them to Paris. After hours of waiting, many were devastated as they reported five coaches pulled up near the empty crowds before they carried on driving.

Some eight hours after the fans were supposed to be picked up, a coach was sent out. But by this time, supporters say they had already been told to go home and the coach collected just six people.

READ MORE:Liverpool fans ‘defeated’ as bus takes just six people to Paris

Fans furiously hit out at operator Coach Innovations with most now unable to make it to the final. Some fans said they have been told they can expect a refund in a week’s time.

Jay Burke and his three friends paid £ 179 for the coach trip that would have transported them to Dover, over to Paris to the fan zone and home again after the match. After over 200 calls to the company, he was told that the buses had turned up and nobody was there.

The Liverpool ECHO tried to contact the company late last night but there was no answer. After another call this morning, we managed to get through before asking if they would be making a statement.

An employee at the company said they would not be able to make a statement at this time. When asked if he would like to issue a statement he replied ‘no comment’.

Demi Edmunds was supposed to be traveling from the Rocket junction by coach to Dover, over to Paris and home again after the match with a friend. She arrived at the bus stop at 3.45pm on Friday.

But after waiting for more than six hours, and with numerous phone calls to Coach Innovations, Demi said she was told the company was “really sorry” but that no coach would be arriving.

She told the ECHO: “Everyone was in great spirits, singing and chanting. Cars were passing and beeping, it was a great atmosphere. But as time went on, we were wondering where our coach was.

“We were told it was running late due to M6 traffic, and then at around 5.45pm one arrived. We all started cheering and clapping but then the driver told us that it was actually the 6.15pm coach and it had arrived early.”

Demi said after this coach left, a call to the coach company revealed the driver was misinformed and that it had been their coach after all. She said: “There was no register, list of names, nothing. So people were on the wrong coaches, and people who paid for coaches missed out on theirs.”

She said when she finally got through to the company, they told her the buses had turned up and no one was there. The group was then advised to head home.

Demi added: “We went home at about 11pm, and at around 12.15am my friend got a message from the company saying ‘we’re sending another coach, it’ll be there in 15 minutes’. By that time most people had given up and gone home, after being told to, and when the coach came only six people got on. “

Demi said the experience left her feeling “defeated” and admits having a “little cry” when she got home.

The ECHO will be following fans’ journey and joining them in Paris all weekend and you can follow our updates here.

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