Local MLA and Councillor Paul Frew has expressed concern due to the worrying number of instances in recent years in which buses have caught fire and he has requested to know what the Minister for Regional Development Danny Kennedy is doing to actively promote the safety of all bus passengers, including young children as they travel to and from school.
The Minister has stated in his reply that all these incidents have been thoroughly investigated by Translink officials and the resulting recommendations implemented. The most recent of these recommendations included the revision of vehicle inspection instruction, the re-training of employees on vehicle maintenance issues and the improved liaison between manufactures and the Department of Regional Development to design out the known causes of such fires.
However, Councillor Frew believes that more can be done to prevent such incidents and is extremely concerned about the extensive over-crowding of school buses and how this compromises bus evacuation procedures and puts children and young people at unnecessary risk.
Frew states that “we will be keeping pressure on the Minister for Regional Development to ensure that all our buses are of decent standard as we understand the concern of parents in relation to their children’s daily travel arrangements.”