AN adventurous four-year-old boy travelled more than a mile and a half alone on a bus to Burnley town centre.

The youngster had been playing in the street around lunchtime yesterday when he decided to get on a bus heading to the bus station.

Police said the former Giant Leap nursery pupil, named locally as Oliver, had caught the bus from a stop in Coal Clough Lane near to where he was playing.

After he was spotted walking alone near the station, Burnley response officer PC James Cooper took the boy to Burnley Police Station to try and track-down his parents.

An urgent press release was issued at 1.59pm yesterday after officers discovered there were no reports of missing children in the town.

Ten minutes later, Lancashire police confirmed they had found the youngster’s parents and would reunite the family.

Inquiries are now underway to find out how the boy was able to travel so far alone. Residents in the Coal Clough Lane area have expressed their shock that the youngster was able to travel unaccompanied.

Dylan Brown said: “It's terrible that this has happened, I’m shocked by it.
“It is very quiet at the top end of the road, you get a few children, but not many.

“It is a lot busier at the bottom end where the shops are, though, and there are usually a lot of people around during the day."

Laura McDonald said: “As a parent this is frightening.

“When it is so hot and sunny children want to play outside, you never think something like this can happen.

“It sounds like the police have done a good job to reunite him with his parents so quickly."

Another resident added: "It sounds horrifying for the parents. It just goes to show how quickly these things can happen with kids. I'm just so relieved he is fine."

Coun Margaret Brindle, Burnley Council’s member for the Coal Clough with Deerplay ward, praised officers’  handling of the situation.

She said: “The only comment I would make would be hats off to the police for acting so quickly, for stopping a dangerous situation and ensuring the young child was looked after.

“It easily could have been a lot worse but obviously some quick-witted person has dealt with it and I’m sure the boy’s family is grateful for that.”

It is not known which company operated the bus which the boy caught.

A spokesman for Lancashire police said: “Officers will be making inquiries to find out how exactly the boy was able to travel so far alone.”