Driver had gone under bridge earlier

A BUS driver who wedged his 14ft high double-decker bus under a 13ft Bramford bridge had gone under it earlier in a single-decker, it emerged today.Roger Haywood, spokesman for First Eastern Counties, confirmed there were two alternatives on the route, although one could not be used by a two-tier bus.

A BUS driver who wedged his 14ft high double-decker bus under a 13ft Bramford bridge had gone under it earlier in a single-decker, it emerged today.

Roger Haywood, spokesman for First Eastern Counties, confirmed there were two alternatives on the route, although one could not be used by a two-tier bus.

The accident left two young women, who had been on the top deck, needing treatment and the bus driver suspended pending an inquiry.

Mr Haywood stressed the company's employees were well trained.


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He said: “All the drivers get guidance. They don't go on a route unless they know the route both from training and also from visiting it. What happened in this instance is there are two routes. The driver had made earlier trips in a single-decker and on returning he made a mistake. At this stage we don't know whether he forgot he was in a double-decker or that there was a low bridge.

“He went on an approved route, but not for a double-decker bus.

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“One of the factors involved in the investigation will be to check his record. He won't go back on duty until this is resolved and, if necessary, that will be with training.

“The driver was extremely embarrassed and shocked. This was an extremely rare occurrence. Fortunately people were not seriously injured, but they obviously could have been.”

Although it is unclear why the driver was in a single-decker for at least one earlier run before changing to a double-decker, Mr Haywood said buses were allocated by a supervisor and not driver-choice.

“The driver knows what bus he's driving and what route he's supposed to take. It was a standard 14ft bus and under a 13 ft bridge, it's a recipe for disaster.

Mr Haywood said the company's employees have been briefed again about the dangers of low bridges.

“Our drivers have been reminded, but of course you can imagine every single one of them is totally aware of it.”

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