Passengers too afraid' to shop coach vandals
PUBLISHED: 18:14 03 September 2008 | UPDATED: 10:03 23 August 2010
A RESIDENT is demanding bosses at a coach company reinstate a village service that was axed because of attacks by vandals. Ray Peck, 45, of Church Street, Cliffe, is furious that Clarkes of London refuse to travel in to Cliffe, instead dropping passenger
A RESIDENT is demanding bosses at a coach company reinstate a village service that was axed because of attacks by vandals.
Ray Peck, 45, of Church Street, Cliffe, is furious that Clarkes of London refuse to travel in to Cliffe, instead dropping passengers outside the area in Salt Lane.
He said: "Cliffe residents are outraged at having to disembark the coach at Salt Lane which is some distance from the village and requires a walk through country roads with no paths or lighting.
"This is particularly dangerous in the winter when the roads are unlit, slippery and used by large lorries that use the road for access to the various industrial businesses nearby."
The corporate business manager added: "It is only a mater of time before someone is hurt or worse.
"It is also not ideal to terminate the journey at this point if you are a lone woman. It is a particularly dark road which could provide opportunities for any would be criminal."
Terry Newman, Clarkes of London general manger, said Cliffe is still a no-go area because youths throw bricks at the coach whenever it drives through.
Attacks on buses have occurred intermittently since 2005, when Clarkes first withdrew the service.
Drivers have tried to reinstate the service three times since 2005 but withdrew it permanently in November last year.
Mr Newman said: "We have had about seven or eight windows broken in Cliffe. These windows cost up to £2,000 each and our total costs in damage to windows is over £20,000 and we cannot get insurance for that.
"A brick could come through the window and seriously hurt a passenger or hit the driver and the coach could go out of control.
"I can't risk it happening again because passengers will be the first to complain when they get hurt."
He added: "It's a small village and the passengers must know the kids that did it - they were close enough - but they are all too frightened to say who did it.
"If they did tell the police then I could press for a prosecution and get them to pay for the damage and we could give the passengers their money back. But they are too frightened."