‘Bus drivers are a danger to life’

Bus complaints in Commonside and Central Drive, Ansdell.
Bus complaints in Commonside and Central Drive, Ansdell.

BUSES have caused a catalogue of safety problems and damage in Ansdell. – and put lives at risk, it is claimed.

Residents are said to be at the their wits’ end over the issue – affecting Central Drive and Commonside – and are blaming bus operator Stagecoach.

University lecturer Dr David MacGregor, of Central Drive, took this picture of a Stagecoach bus mounting the kerb on Commonside. He says buses are not only putting people lives in danger – including nearby primary school children – but are also damaging, pavements, roads and even houses.

He said: “The mounting of kerbs by Stagecoach drivers is a regular occurrence sometimes five plus times a day.

“Having recently had work done to our property the vibration caused by dropping a 14.5 tonne bus off a three-inch kerb has caused cracking and crazing to newly installed plasterwork and door frames.

“To date on Central Drive and Commonside we have had buses stuck but only due to the fact that local residents are legitimately parking their vehicles in unrestricted spaces outside of their own homes. Stagecoach operate with the tacit co-operation of the local community. If everyone parked their vehicles on the road instead of half on the kerb, no buses would be able to use Commonside/Central Drive at all.

“We have recently had a dog killed by a Stagecoach bus – the driver did not even stop. What would have happened were it a child that had run out.”

Mr MacGregor said calls had been made for re-routing, speed bumps and 20mph zones. After being told Stagecoach were monitoring the situation, he now wants an update.

County Coun Tim Ashton said he realised there was a “conflict” and urged anyone with any safety issues regarding drivers to contact him.

He said: “Buses have been running down there since before the war. It is important to local people for services to shops, libraries and schools.”

A Stagecoach spokesperson said: “At Stagecoach, safety is our absolute priority and our drivers receive comprehensive training. All Stagecoach drivers undertake a Safe and Skilled Driver training programme, as part of a Certificate of Professional Competence.

“We have received correspondence from Dr MacGregor in the past and monitored our services covertly and found no incidents of unsafe or dangerous driving. We have also never received a report, about one of our vehicles killing a dog.

“Our vehicles are fitted with a GreenRoad system to help improve passenger comfort and cut the risk of accidents. The GreenRoad 360 system uses a dashboard traffic lights-style system to provide drivers with real-time feedback on their driving style, including speed, braking, acceleration, lane-handling and turning. The system incorporates on-line reporting and analysis.

“Both ourselves and Blackpool Transport have been operating along this route for many years.”