A YOUNG man fell asleep on a late bus home and ended up being stuck in the depot.

Arran Lawson has told of his panic at finding himself in “pitch darkness” without a clue where he was.

He fell asleep on a midnight bus to Seaford while on his way to meet his father John.

When he finally woke up he found he was still on the bus in a garage – which turned out be in Newhaven.

He said: “I was freaking out. My phone was almost dead and I was very close to total panic.

“When I realised I was still on the bus, I felt a little bit of anger at the bus driver for not waking me up.”

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Arran had been on a camping trip with St Peter’s Church in Brighton before stopping off for one beer with friends.

He then walked down to Brighton seafront to catch the 12a bus to Seaford where he lives and where his father was waiting for him.

But the plans unravelled when he fell asleep on the upper deck.

The bus terminated in Seaford and then went back to the depot in Newhaven.

Arran woke to find himself in darkness on the bus with a phone that was nearly out of power.

He said he began panicking as he looked for an escape.

After 15 minutes he found the emergency escape button which allowed him to open the bus doors.

He said: “It was relief when I found the button, but then I had another problem.

“I thought ‘how do I get out of here?’. There wasn’t any light or anyone around.”

He spent another 15 minutes wandering the bus depot before finding a duty security officer.

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Arran said the woman was “very shocked” to see him and he left the depot.

He then realised he was in Newhaven, more than three miles from his intended destination.

Luckily his phone still had some charge so he rang his worried father who drove to pick him up.

Brighton and Hove Buses boss Martin Harris said the bus driver had failed to check the upper deck and did not notice there was still a passenger on board.

He said: “It is company policy that drivers check the entire bus when they get back to the depot, including walking all around it to confirm there are no passengers on board.

“Our night cleaners thoroughly clean and check every bus but the young man left the bus before they had cleaned it.”

He said the company analysed CCTV footage from the Newhaven depot and it showed Arran getting off the bus at 12.21 and walking out of the depot.

He said: “I sincerely apologise to this young man and his family that we did not spot him asleep on the top deck of the bus when it got back to the depot.

“Our drivers are trained to thoroughly check their vehicles before leaving the bus and this kind of incident happens extremely rarely.

“Our passengers’ welfare is our top priority and we will continue to emphasise this vehicle checking procedure during driver training.

“All new drivers undergo this training and experienced drivers must refresh their training annually.”