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Detling tree that crushed party bus from Bee's Knees Play Buses will kill someone soon, fears owner Norman Laverock

By Anna Young

A businessman saw his livelihood torn apart when an uprooted tree ripped through his double-decker party bus.

Norman Laverock, from Detling, was travelling back from a children's birthday celebration when the tree trunk smashed through the roof of his vehicle – causing £25,000 of damage.

It happened a short distance from the 58-year-old's home in Cox Street, but nothing has been done to remove the dangerously tilting tree.

Norman Laverock with his play bus that has been written off by a tree in Detling

Mr Laverock said: "I use the road every day and I can see it is getting lower and lower and one day soon, it's going to fall down and kill or really hurt someone.

"Police came on the night of the crash and I believe the officers reported it to Kent Highways so why has no one been out to take it down? It's just been left and it's really dangerous."

Mr Laverock, who also works as a funeral plan salesman, started Bee's Knees Play Buses about four years ago and it had grown into a successful company.

But the yellow double-decker bus - fitted with ball pits, slides and games - was written off by insurers after the crash and is due to be crushed this week.

Play bus owner Norman Laverock and the uprooted tree in Detling

Owner Mr Laverock said: "We've had to cancel all our future bookings which is really disappointing for everyone involved. We've returned all of the deposits. I've lost about £7,000.

"I kept the bus at the house, so it's been driven down that road dozens of times before and I've never had any problems.

"I just want someone to get it sorted before someone gets hurt, or worse."

Behdad Haratbar, head of programmed work, highways and transportation at Kent County Council, said: "In terms of Cox Street, we spoke to the landowner concerned immediately after being contacted by Kent Police.

"The landowner assured us it would be tackled straight away. However, despite further discussions the branch has not been removed.

"It has since dropped further and is tangled with overhead wires.

"We are now working with the telephone operator to remove the branch and will seek to recover the cost of this work from the landowner."

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