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Gravesend hire bus, owned by Red Route, hits railway bridge in Gun Lane, Strood

By Jenni Horn

The driver of a bus which crashed into a railway bridge with 60 school children on board is to face disciplinary action.

Children and teachers from Hilltop Primary School in Strood were on their way back from a school trip when the double decker hit a bridge in the town.

The collision happened in Gun Lane, Strood, at about 3pm on Monday afternoon, near to the junction with Edward Street and involved a private hire vehicle belonging to the firm Red Route.

Picture: Darren Harris
Picture: Darren Harris

Linda Allen's 10-year-old grandson was on the bus. She said: "The ones upstairs were very frightened. They were coming back from a long week end school trip."

Adrian Harris posted online: "My son was on it and he was terrified." He told the Medway Messenger that parents were initially concerned when the double decker had turned up on Friday, instead of the expected coach.

Laura Linsdell added: "How could he [the driver] think for a second he would make it under there?! Our poor shaken children had to be taken off the bus and walk 20 minutes to school to get to us parents, who were at the school waiting after being told they simply had a flat tyre."

A spokesman for Redroute said the bus was travelling at 4mph when it hit the bridge, causing “superficial damage” to the roof and “no interior damage”.

Transport manager Stephen Francis-Weatherall said: “Redroute Buses are pleased that no injuries were sustained by any passengers on the bus following the incident yesterday – all passengers were able to disembark and continue their journey back to the school.

“The vehicle tracking system has been checked and confirms the vehicle was only doing 4mph.

“The bus has been recovered to our depot and is being examined by engineers.

“The driver was questioned at the scene and will be disciplined in accordance with company procedures."

A spokesman for Kent Police said no arrests had been made.

Red Route provide buses for school trips, weddings and events. In May its open top bus was used by Arsenal Football Club for a tour through London after winning the FA Cup.

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