A SOUTHAMPTON family have thanked a bus driver who helped their autistic son return home after he hopped aboard the wrong service.

Taylor Mears ended up miles from his home in Thornhill after he mistakenly jumped aboard Bluestar’s Seven bus on his way home from school.

The 12-year-old, who attends Oasis Academy Mayfield, quickly realised his mistake.

But Taylor, who has a number of learning difficulties, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), was too worried to tell the driver.

He ended up in Southampton City Centre – miles from both his home and school.

His mum, Sarah, said: “Taylor gets distracted so he got on the Bluestar Seven instead of the First Bus Nine.

“Even though Taylor quickly realised he was heading the wrong way he was too worried to say anything, so ended up in the city centre.

“Taylor explained as best he could to the driver - who then called me to explain what happened.”

Driver Mike Rogers assured Sarah that he would make sure he got on the right bus home.

The Bluestar driver said: “I could see Taylor was upset and needed help.

“My role as a bus driver is to ensure the safety of my passengers - and this was just an example of that.

“I don’t think any of us as human beings would leave a vulnerable child to navigate their own way home, so I have no doubt any of my colleagues would done the same.”

Sarah, 33, added: “Taylor often got lifts to and from school but for a period of time we tried the bus routine as he wanted to be like other children

“But honestly, if he had just dropped Taylor off into town anything could have happened because he is extremely vulnerable.

“Now he is home safe-and sound - and I couldn’t be more grateful to this wonderful Bluestar driver.

“He quickly realised my son needed assistance and he took the time to go out of his way, even though he had a job to do.”

Taylor and his family recently met up with Mr Rogers at Bluestar’s travel shop, in Southampton, where they personally thanked him for his actions.