spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Campaigns subcategories:

Anti-capitalism

Anti-fascist

Anti-racism

Anti-war

Asylum

Black and Asian

Children

CNWP

Corporate crime

Disability

Education

Election campaigns

Environment

EU

Finance

Food

Gender Recognition Act

* Health and safety

Health and welfare

Housing

Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

Local services

Low pay

Migration

Nationalisation

New workers party

NHS

Pensions

Post Office

Poverty

Privatisation

Public Services

Socialism

Socialist

Sport

Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Students

The state

Transport

TUSC

Welfare rights

Women

Workplace and TU campaigns

Youth


Health and safety keywords:

Corporate killing (2)

Stress (22)

hse (9)

injuries (7)

Health and safety


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1021, 5 December 2018: Not one more day - Tories out now

Search site for keywords: Buses - Drivers - Stagecoach - Health and safety

Fatal bus crash - an avoidable tragedy

photo Ad Meskens/CC

photo Ad Meskens/CC   (Click to enlarge)

'Tom Woodcock', Birmingham Central Socialist Party

As a former bus driver I was appalled by the news story about Kailash Chander, the Stagecoach bus driver, whose dangerous driving resulted in the death of two people.

In October 2015, the 77 year old mistook the brake for the accelerator pedal and mounted the kerb outside Sainsbury's in Coventry city centre.

He couldn't stand trial due to his dementia and was handed a two-year supervision order by the court last week. What does this say about Tory benefit cuts and poverty pensions, that an old and disabled man is driving a bus?

It sickens me to learn that Chander had been working 75-hour weeks, and had been the subject of 24 complaint letters regarding his driving standards.

A plain-clothes bus inspector reported Chander's poor driving, but despite this, he continued to be employed. Stagecoach put profit before safety.

The 2.3 million fine handed to the bus company will not make any difference to the families of 76-year-old pedestrian Dora Hancox or little Rowan Fitzgerald, aged seven. Rowan was travelling back from a football match with his grandad on the bus.

Both were killed as a result of unfit-driver Chander being put to work by Stagecoach to cover staff shortages. The fine will barely dent Stagecoach's 123m profits from their local bus operations.

Stagecoach bosses have been let off the hook. They should have been jailed for corporate manslaughter.

It was they who ignored the dangers and placed an unsafe driver behind the wheel of one of their buses.

As gross an example as this is, I have been convinced for many years that it would only be a matter of time before the long-hours culture of the bus industry led to a horrific incident.

Readers may be surprised to learn that bus drivers on local routes can work up to 16 hours a day, are entitled to as little as eight-and-a-half-hours rest between shifts, and work up to 19 days without a day off.

My union for transport workers, RMT, has called for bus-driving hours to be brought in-line with slightly more stringent EU hours which are used for coach and lorry drivers. This has been resisted by the employers, citing the impact on their fat profits.

Overworked

During my 10 years on the buses in London and the West Midlands, many drivers worked all of their rest days and booked as much overtime as possible to make up for the low wages.

Supervisors were always asking if you would do an extra trip for them or come in on your day off to cover shifts.

Split shifts are the norm and together with highly restricted access to toilet facilities and frequent abuse from members of the public, bus driving really is a long-hours and unhealthy occupation.

Bus drivers are exempt from many workplace health and safety regulations that the law affords to most other workers.

Bus industry standards need to be urgently improved. Driving hours should be reduced to a maximum of 35 hours a week, wages must be sharply uplifted to a liveable level, and shifts must be compiled and rostered with the safety and wellbeing of drivers in mind. Train driving is seen as an attractive job, why can't bus driving be?

Renationalising the bus service without compensation to the corporate parasites who have been sucking the industry dry for 30 years will be the first and most important step towards this goal.







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999