Bus boss criticises 'mindless' vandals

VANDALS who kicked out a top deck bus window as schoolchildren waited below are putting lives at risk, coach bosses warned last night.

Will Clarke

VANDALS who kicked out a top deck bus window as schoolchildren waited below are putting lives at risk, coach bosses warned last night.

Sudbury-based company Hedingham Omnibus is pleading for action after three upper windows were kicked out of their double deckers on the service between Sudbury Upper School and nearby Glemsford.

On the last occasion, which happened Monday afternoon, a 15kg pane of glass landed only feet away from where pupils were standing at a bus stop in Glemsford.

Robert McGregor, who owns the bus firm, said he wanted action to stop the mindless vandalism, which he claimed could make the service unworkable.

“We hope the school and the police will support us,” he said. “We are taking the incident extremely seriously. This isn't just the result of horseplay and we need something to be done before there is a serious accident.”

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Gary Purbeck, a fitter with Hedingham Omnibus, said such vandalism could cause serious injury if the windows were forced out over a child from a moving bus.

He said: “Something needs to be done before somebody is killed because the kids aren't listening.”

Mr Purbeck said the broken pane clearly bore a muddy footprint and would be available if the police wanted to look at it as part of their inquiries

David Forrest, headteacher at Sudbury Upper, said firm action would be taken against students damaging buses and endangering other pupils.

He said: “School transport is something we are worried about and although strictly we don't have responsibility for it we do take these incidents hugely seriously. We have worked with the county transport service successfully before and we will identify who was involved.

“We will recommend pupils are removed (from the transport service) if they are found to be involved in this reckless behaviour.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council, which runs the county transport service, said there were strict guidelines governing safety on buses.

She said: “We are working with the headteacher and the police to identify the pupils involved and we will take appropriate action.”

A police spokeswoman said all incidents reported were fully investigated.

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