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Spalding mother Sally Scott was shocked when her two sons called her to say the bus that would normally have driven them home had left them behind. According to the Spalding Guardian, the coach driver had no choice but to remove the boys from the bus because it had reached legal capacity.

Brothers Ben (15) and Jack (11) were selected because the driver determined they had not been on the bus for the ride in that morning. They were left behind with two other students and several adults who looked after their welfare. The bus operator, Cropley Coaches, were informed by Mrs Scott and subsequently sent a vehicle to pick the boys up.

At question is whether Cropley knew of the problem or not. Mrs Scott claimed a company representative told her they knew nothing about the incident prior to her call. If that’s true, the coach driver left the students behind without informing his employer. If it’s not true, Cropley should have sent out a second vehicle without having to be called.

The incident demonstrates a number of breakdowns in the system. First and foremost is a breakdown by the Lincolnshire County Council who is tasked with overseeing bus transportation for students at Donington’s Thomas Cowley High School. The Council should be working to provide more than enough transportation rather than cutting it so close to the limit.

The second breakdown occurred on behalf of the coach driver who should have informed his employer before pulling away from the school. It seems rather obvious the remaining students and adults should have been given full assurance that another vehicle was on its way before the driver departed.

Lastly, there is an obvious breakdown in communication between Cropley and its drivers in determining how many vehicles are necessary for adequate transportation. If the number of passengers is routinely reaching the limit, a larger vehicle obviously needs to be sent.

Legal Coach Operations

It should be noted that the coach driver did the right thing by not allowing the students on board. The UK has very strict laws in place regarding bus capacity. It was better for him to leave students behind than to break the law by exceeding capacity.

Knowing and adhering to regulations is part of what we teach at the HGV Training Centre. In addition to learning to drive efficiently, we focus on making sure our drivers are fully versed in the law. Safety comes first when transporting passengers, especially when it comes to children moving to and from school.

If you might be interested in coach driver training, we urge you to contact us at the HGV Training Centre. We are one of the leading training facilities in the country with a history of proven results. In less time than you would expect, we can have you fully trained, licensed, and ready to seek work as a professional coach driver. And make no mistake; there is a job waiting for you.


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