Faulty school bus fears

DANGEROUS school buses and taxis could be putting children s lives at risk according to Derbyshire police officers.

Tuesday, 24th April 2001, 1:00 am

Last week Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire County Council carried out safety checks on vehicles taking children to and from school.

Of the 159 vehicles stopped 60 had faults. Twelve had defects so serious they were banned from continuing their journeys.

Chief Superintendent Tony Bateman said the results of the survey were very worrying.

He said: I am concerned that some operators are putting our children s lives at risk in this way.

When parents send their children to school they expect them to be in safe hands.

Of the 12 vehicles with serious defects four where school buses. Two of the buses were repaired on the road-side by staff from the Government s Vehicle Inspectorate.

The other two buses were stopped for offences involving a broken shock absorber and damage to the bodywork.

Both operators had their contracts with the council terminated.

Superintendent Bateman said: I appeal to anyone who runs school buses and taxis to make sure their vehicles are roadworthy and in good condition.

Our children must not be put at risk.

The County Council s chair of education said the council would not tolerate poor services.

Coun Alan Charles said: Derbyshire County Council will not tolerate students being transported in vehicles that are not roadworthy.

We operate a policy of terminating contracts where operators use unroadworthy vehicles as happened in this case.

The quality and reliability of these services is always our major concern.