Stockport Express

‘I thought I was a goner’: bus driver attacked by yobs

- BETH ABBIT stockporte­ @stockportn­ews

ABUS driver thought “he was a goner” when thugs struck him to the head with an iron bar.

The dad saw a flash of metal and thought he was being approached with a knife during the attack – understood to have happened in Stockport – last month.

His wife, Theresa Bowers, says she has had sleepless nights worrying about her husband and son – who also works as a bus driver.

“The vehicles have been attacked too,” she said. “Drivers are being targeted. They are terrorisin­g drivers.”

Her comments come after transport bosses warned of a spate of “dangerous” vandalism incidents on bus and tram services across Greater Manchester.

One driver was injured by flying glass from a broken window when a missile was hurled from the side of the road in Stockport.

Another driver was hit on the back of the head when a missile was thrown through the window of the 328 Stagecoach service on the Bridgehall Estate, in Stockport, on Wednesday, March 17.

Passengers have also been injured during some incidents, operators say.

Bricks, baseball bats and scooters have been hurled at moving vehicles in recent months, with 49 separate incidents of criminal damage to buses recorded since the start of the year.

Attacks have resulted in services being diverted or withdrawn from certain routes.

Discussing the attack on her husband back in March, Mrs Bowers said he has been ‘traumatise­d’ by the incident.

“They came up behind him on push bikes with a bar and whacked him on the side of the head. Then they stamped on his knee,” she said.

“He just saw this thing coming behind him and thought it was a knife coming towards him.

“His ear was bleeding and he’s got cuts on his ears. It was bleeding profusely.

“He went to the hospital about 4pm and didn’t get home until 9.30pm.”

She added: “He thought it was a knife. He thought he was a goner.”

Mrs Bowers – whose son also works as a bus driver – says she believes most attacks happen in quieter areas and on estates.

“It’s getting to be really dangerous,” she said.

“It really is scary. My husband has been doing this for 40 years and he’s never known anything like it.

“There have been quite a few windows broken and missiles thrown at vehicles recently too.”

The driver was attacked on the afternoon of March 22. He believes he was attacked by teenagers.

Mrs Bowers added: “I was worried sick that night he was attacked.

“I’m worried about them both. They’re working nights and it’s going to get busier with the pubs opening back up.

“Most nights I will sit up waiting for him until I know he’s okay. Otherwise I would be tossing and turning all night.”

Stagecoach said it is working with TravelSafe, which includes Transport for Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Police and all transport operators, including Metrolink.

A Stagecoach spokespers­on said: “We’re currently investigat­ing an incident involving a driver, that took place away from Stagecoach property.

“As this investigat­ion is ongoing, we are unable to comment further at this stage.

“However, the safety and wellbeing of our staff and customers is always our absolute priority. We are working closely with TravelSafe partners to prevent future incidents and identify those responsibl­e.”

 ?? TfGM ?? ●●TfGM released this picture of a vandalised bus last month
TfGM ●●TfGM released this picture of a vandalised bus last month

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