Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Buses remain fire safety risk

Jun 21, 2013Uncategorized

Fireys are called to a bus fire outside Wynyard Station on Wednesday. Witnesses say the Scania bus pulled up with smoke billowing out the back. The driver then used his entire handheld extinguisher before the fire crew used their hoses to extinguish it fully.

The Union has been publicly urging the NSW Government today to take urgent action amid concerns that the risk of fire and explosion in thousands of Sydney buses still exists and need to be fitted with fire mitigation systems.

In 2011 there was an incident where the back of a gas bus literally exploded and drivers were forced to take safety into their own hands and take gas buses off the road before the Government would act.

Since then dozens of buses, both gas-powered and non-gas- powered, have been destroyed by fire across Australia. The photo here shows a fire incident on a private bus near Wynyard just yesterday.

While the NSW Government has taken some steps in the right direction it is not enough to ensure member and passenger safety.

The Government has moved to retro-fit gas buses with fire suppression units and ensure all new Government buses have the right systems in place.Yet that leaves hundred of existing Government buses with a safety risk. They must all be urgently retro-fitted with quality suppression systems that meet the Australian Standards.

Private passengers should be even more alarmed. There seems to be no requirement for private buses – new or existing – to be fitted with suppression systems.

The union believes the Government needs to answer some key questions such as:

  • How can buses before 2013 be deemed safe yet all new STA ones are fitted with fire suppression units?
  • Why have only the Mercedes Benz gas-powered buses being retrofitted when there are issues across the whole fleet?
  • Why are Government passengers more important than private?

We think it is simply not acceptable for the NSW Transport Minister not to take this issue more seriously.