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May 16 2018
By Mike Jewell

Mike Jewell is the industry’s leading legal journalist, covering all key cases brought before Public Inquries, Tribunals, Magistrates and Crown Courts

‘Worst act’ bus driver withdraws appeal

Liverpool bus driver David Culshaw, described by Deputy Traffic Commissioner (DTC) Miles Dorrington to have committed “probably the worst act” he had ever seen a bus driver commit, has withdrawn his appeal to the South Sefton Magistrates against the revocation of his PCV driving entitlement.

In his decision, the DTC said that on 15 September 2016, Mr Culshaw, who had been driving buses for 30 years, was working for Halton Transport as a bus driver. As a result of a very serious incident, Mr Culshaw was summarily dismissed on 19 September 2016.

After watching on-board video evidence of the incident, the DTC said that it showed an elderly 71-year-old male passenger signalling that he wanted the bus to stop by ringing the bell.

Between the bell being rung and the bus stop being reached was approximately seven seconds. The bus did not stop at the stop but travelled on for some distance. The passenger approached the driver and could be seen on CCTV speaking to him. Mr Culshaw finally stopped the vehicle past the stop that the passenger had wanted and opened the doors of the bus for the passenger.

The driver and the passenger could still be seen having words, with the passenger standing on the platform within the bus. Mr Culshaw then caused the bus to drive off with the doors to the bus still open while the passenger was standing on the platform. The passenger struggled to keep his balance due to the sudden forward motion of the bus, lost his balance and fell out onto the road. He was then seen lying face down half on the road and half on the side of the road. The bus then came to a stop.

Mr Culshaw remained in his cab. He could see that the passenger had fallen from his bus. The doors of the bus were still open.

Another male passenger then spoke to Mr Culshaw. Mr Culshaw pulled away from the curb with the doors of the bus still open, and the second male passenger almost fell out of the open doors. The doors of the bus were then closed.

The passenger who fell from the bus still had his legs in the road and his lower legs and feet were close to the wheels of the bus. That created a significant risk of that passenger having his legs and feet run over by the bus when it pulled away. The passenger was taken to hospital from the roadside having suffered broken bones as a result of his fall.

Mr Culshaw subsequently appealed the revocation decision to South Sefton Magistrates but withdrew his appeal after Merseyside Police prosecuted him for driving without due care and attention. He was fined £120 and ordered to pay costs of £650. He also received seven penalty points on his driving licence.

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