Calls to investigate bus operator after a number of incidents and student injuries

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.

Colin Day (R4U) Colin Day (R4U)

R4U’s Colin Day, Uttlesford District Councillor lead for Community Safety said “It has been reported to us that 2 local students were taken to A&E following a serious accident last week when a double decker school bus hit a tree. The bus was transporting pupils from Saffron Walden County High and Joyce Frankland. We have spoken to parents and seen pictures of the considerable damage to the front of the roof of the bus. We understand the 2 students suffered head injuries and wounds to their hands and feet. We hope they are recovering from what must have been a scary incident.”

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 cllrday@uttlesford.gov.uk.”

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

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties.

R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). It is the fastest growing local political movement in its district. In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In 2017 it solidified its position with a further by-election gain with 60% of the vote. In the May 2019 Local Elections R4U gained majority control of UDC winning two-thirds of the seats. The result delivered the biggest loss of seats by any UK Conservative controlled council in the UK.

R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at www.residents4u.org.