Suspended Barrow bus driver speaks of his ‘struggle’
Last updated at 16:40, Thursday, 07 March 2013
A BUS driver says he has been living “hand to mouth” after being suspended.
Stephen Paul Rampton had his bus driving licence suspended after a passenger reported him for stopping the 618 service from Barrow to Ambleside and smoking a cigarette last year when his bus was running late, and travelling too close to a learner driver.
Mr Rampton, who has been driving buses for nine years, said the verdict was unjust.
The 47-year-old, of Glasgow Street, Barrow, was suspended from driving for 28 days after a Traffic Commissioner hearing on February 18.
Mr Rampton said: “When the bus was handed over it was already running 10 minutes late, on that run you can’t make up the time.
“A passenger was complaining but he was already going to miss his connection.
“I stopped the bus at the turnaround in Ambleside and I got off and had a cigarette to calm down.”
Mr Rampton was working for Traveller’s Choice at the time and now works for Leck’s Travel.
At the hearing, Mr Rampton admitted both allegations.
He told the Evening Mail: “If I’m not working, I’m not earning and the bills don’t get paid.
“I’ve not moved my car and I sit freezing every night because I can’t put the heating on. It’s been a real struggle.
“I’ve had one bad day, I’m living hand to mouth.”
Traffic commissioner Beverley Bell said: “As a professional driver, Mr Rampton should have recognised the importance of keeping a safe distance to the vehicle in front, for the safety of other road users, his passengers and himself.
“He should also have known that it was unacceptable to stop operating his bus and indulge in a personal activity simply because the service had already fallen behind its timetable.”
First published at 16:28, Thursday, 07 March 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
He should take responsibility for his actions and accept his punishment. Stop whining and just be glad you still have a licence. Anyone who try's to intimidate a learner driver deserves to loose there licence. Being polite to customers is part of your job, if you cant do that then maybe you shouldn't drive buses.
Thats what happens when you mess about with VOSA, be glad they didn't take your licence for good, what a fool.
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