Residents for Uttlesford’s (R4U) district councillor responsible for Community Safety at Uttlesford District Council has started the process to request an urgent safety review into local bus operator Stephensons after a number of incidents have been reported to R4U.
One of the incidents involved a school bus which reportedly collided with a tree. Another incident is understood to have involved a different bus hitting a number of parked vehicles and failing to stop. Local bus services are overseen by Essex County Council and the governments Traffic Commissioner for the East of England.
Cllr Colin Day continued “We’ve also got reports of a bus from the same company causing damage to a series of parked cars in Great Chesterford a few days later. Yet more residents have now come forward to share a number of other concerns relating to further alleged incidents, some very worrying because they also involve pupil safety. Residents can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
R4U’s Cllr Colin Day concluded “We are treating these incidents very seriously and have already written to Essex County Council, who oversee local school bus services. We’ve asked them to urgently start an investigation. It is important to know what happened, how it was dealt with, and determine if measures need be taken to improve safety at the operator or in ECC’s oversight programme. It is important to note that ECC has significantly cut school bus funding over the last few years and have not made seat belts a requirements for school buses. I will follow up with them this week and seek confirmation of what actions they are taking. I am also in touch with the Traffic Commissioner for the East of England, preparing a report for the police, and will contact the schools to understand their Critical Incident policies for responding to these types of incidents.”
Students were injured when the Stephensons operated school bus struck a tree that damaged the upper deck roof