Probe after bus driver ‘hit tree and carried on’
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