Bus company rapped after string of mishaps

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A FIFE bus firm has been rapped after two of its vehicles crashed into houses and others reported wheels falling off.

The Traffic Commissioner for Scotland, Joan Aitken, issued a formal warning to Stagecoach Fife for the incidents which stretched back to November 2009.

Commenting at a public inquiry in Edinburgh Ms Aitken said she regarded the incidents where houses were struck by vehicles as “unfortunate isolated events” but stated the wheel loss incidents were of “great concern”.

Readers of the Mail will remember the single decker No 13 bus ploughed through the front hedge and into the hallway of an 89-year-old lady’s home on Methilhaven Road, Buckhaven around midnight on June 9, last year.

At the time it was thought the bus had swerved to avoid hitting an object on the road but ended up leaving a 3ft by 2ft hole near to the shocked Helen Wilson’s front door.

On January 31, also last year, another Stagecoach Fife bus was involved in a similar incident when it collided with a house in Strathkinnes whilst negotiating road works.

The wheel loss incidents occurred on November 18 2009, when one bus suffered a two wheel loss on the A92 that could not be explained.

The following year, on November 27, 2010, another bus suffered wheel loss whilst being towed back from Edinburgh to Fife.

Highlighting Stagecoach Fife’s good record of annual test pass rate, of only two fails out of 380, Ms Aitken decided: “In respect of the press reporting of collisions to houses I take these as unfortunate isolated events.

“Of all the wheel loss incidents that of 18 November 2009 has not been explained fully.

“For the wheel loss incident of 27 November it is a pity that the examining fitter who came out to see the vehicle did not tell the recovery people just what was wrong.

“Given that the operator’s prohibition history is not serious and given the annual test pass rates and reporting to VOSA and co-operation, I can conclude this Inquiry with a formal warning.”