Probe after bus driver ‘hit tree and car­ried on’

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - BY CHANTELLE HEEDS chantelle.heeds@trin­i­tymir­ @Visiter

ARRIVA is in­ves­ti­gat­ing claims that a driver clipped a tree – smash­ing a win­dow - then car­ried on as if noth­ing had hap­pened.

Lind­say Wilkin­son, from South­port, caught the bus at around 4.10pm last Tues­day, as trains were can­celled after a 52-year-old man was hit by a train and died be­tween Ains­dale and Fresh­field rail­way sta­tions.

The Arriva rail re­place­ment buses, run­ning be­tween Hall Road and South­port, were put in place to carry stranded pas­sen­gers.

Mum-of-one Lind­say and her part­ner got on one of the buses to South­port, and ad­mit­ted that they were im­pressed with how quickly it ar­rived.

But the 33-year-old de­scribed the driver’s at­ti­tude for the rest of the jour­ney, dur­ing which a win­dow on the top deck of the bus was smashed, as “dis­gust­ing”.

She said: “After the trains were can­celled due to an in­ci­dent on the line, a bus was sent to col­lect us and take us to South­port.

“On ar­rival, the driver was rude let far too many peo­ple on, and then when there phys­i­cally was no room, his way of let­ting the wait­ing pas­sen­gers know this was to just shut the door in their faces, and drive off.

“I was last on, and spent the en­tire jour­ney at the very front by the doors as there was nowhere else to stand.”

Things got even worse when the driver “drove into a tree” on Moss Lane, near Crosby, and smashed the front win­dow of the top deck.

Lind­say said that pas­sen­gers on the top deck tried to shout to the driver to tell him what had hap­pened, but were ig­nored.

She said: “Very soon into the jour­ney, the driver drove into a tree, mak­ing a very loud smash­ing and crack­ing noise.

“The driver ei­ther chose to ig­nore it or was just obliv­i­ous.

“Some shouts came from the top deck of the bus in­form­ing him that the tree has smashed the front top win­dow and glass was fall­ing through.

“The driver ig­nored the shouts and car­ried on driv­ing.”

She said the driver did not stop, or check ev­ery­one was okay at the time, which she de­scribed as “dis­gust­ing”.

About 10 min­utes after the ac­ci­dent, she said, the driver pulled over to ex­am­ine the dam­age be­fore mak­ing a phone call and con­tin­u­ing the jour­ney.

A spokesper­son for Arriva said: “Arriva takes com­plaints such as this very se­ri­ously and we are cur­rently look­ing into the in­ci­dent, re­view­ing CCTV footage and in­ter­view­ing the driver in ques­tion to dis­cuss his al­leged be­hav­iour.

“We can con­firm that no pas­sen­gers were hurt and we would like to apol­o­gise to those on board the bus for any in­con­ve­nience caused.”

The dam­aged rail re­place­ment bus

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