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BUS INVESTIGATION: Passengers stumble as Arriva drivers 'take off' in Maidstone

Tuesday 28th September 2021

AN investigation has been launched by a bus company over claims its drivers take off before passengers have a chance to get to their seats.

Sharon Baillie (45) says her husband Gary (50) was on the stairs of a double decker bus when the driver of the 155 service into town started pulling away, causing him to stumble backwards.

Arriva says it is “fully investigating” the matter.

Mrs Baillie, of Dickens Road, said: “This is not the first time this has happened. There have been many occasions where bus drivers have taken off without checking if everyone has taken their seats.

“My husband was halfway up the stairs and fell backwards. It could have been a lot worse.

“Imagine what could have happened if it was an elderly or less mobile person. Bus drivers need to be aware of what is going on inside the bus as well as on the road.”

Mr Baillie, a former bus driver, said: “I was a bus driver in Canada for five years and I did it for the love of the job. Now it seems these bus companies just like to hire anyone.

“I stumbled backwards and banged straight into the handrail.

“I shouldn’t have to ask the driver to wait until I get up the stairs but I have had to do that recently. How many people have to get hurt before something is done?”

Mr Bailey is recovering from a heart attack, sensory tremors, and fibromyalgia so is forced to take the bus into town most days.

An Arriva spokesman said: “We’re fully investigating the matter at the moment. We cannot provide further comment at this time.”