Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Hot Topic

Oct 18, 2011News The Hot Topic

Gas buses withdrawn over safety fears

STA bus drivers have today taken the unprecedented step of withdrawing 700 gas-powered buses from circulation due to serious concerns about driver and passenger safety.

President of the Bus & Tram Division of the NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) Gary Way said a union investigation of an incident in July had uncovered alarming evidence that the lives of passengers and were being put at risk.

“Today we have obtained evidence that a fire on board an STA bus in July was more than just a fire.  In fact, video evidence conclusively shows that the back of the bus exploded

“Despite repeated requests for information about the incident over the past two months, STA has failed to provide bus drivers with any detail about what happened.

“Given the shocking information that has come to light today, it appears that STA has been withholding the full extent of the dangers being faced by passengers.

“This situation is completely unacceptable.  Drivers are concerned they may be driving around in ticking time bombs.

“Under these extraordinary circumstances, the only responsible course of action is to immediately take STA’s fleet of gas buses off the road until these serious safety concerns are addressed.

“Obviously this will cause significant disruption to the travelling public – but drivers simply can not and will not put the lives of their passengers, including school children, at risk.”

Mr Way said the RTBU investigation centred around an STA gas bus that caught fire on Beauchamp Road in Hillsdale on July 29, 2011.

“Thankfully no-one was hurt in that incident.  But if people had been sitting on the bus when it went up, they would not have stood a chance.”

View the video footage here

Mr Way said STA buses in Newcastle were fitted with devices to alert drivers of a potential emergency if the engine of their bus was on fire.

“STA buses in Sydney do not have the same safety features as Newcastle buses – so drivers do not know that the engine of their bus is on fire and about to blow up.

“STA immediately must come clean on the state of its gas buses, and must immediately put in safety measures to ensure this cannot happen again.”