Hunt for youths endangering lives

The customer notice after bus services were suspended to Clayton Brook
The customer notice after bus services were suspended to Clayton Brook

Evening bus services to a Chorley village had to be suspended after ‘reckless’ youths risked the lives of the driver and passengers.

Stagecoach cancelled all trips to Clayton Brook after 6.35pm last week after youngsters used the emergency stop button to cut power to the engine of the moving vehicle.

Bus chiefs said they were left with no other option after the offenders struck on a number of occasions - endangering their own lives as well as those of the diver, passengers and other road users.

They have now linked up with officers from Chorley Police who are reviewing CCTV and have issued an urgent appeal for information.

A spokesman for Stagecoach said: “We had to take the decision to suspend the 125 service to Clayton Brook as a number of youths had been interfering with the operation of the vehicles, and the action was in the interest of safety for our drivers and passengers.

“The youngsters had been using the emergency stop button which has control over the mechanisms of the vehicle’s engine and it is incredibly dangerous.

“We are now working with Police in Clayton Brook and have re-instated the service whilst their investigations are on-going.”

A sign at the bus stop informed users that the service wouldn’t operate to the village due to anti-social behaviour.

Instead, it ran between The Pines Hotel and Mallards Walk along the A6 Preston Road.

Sgt Kevin Mountain, from Chorley Neighbourhood Police, said: “This practice is completely reckless and dangerous not only for the driver and passengers, but other motorists too.

“The youngsters are also risking their own lives and we are reviewing CCTV in a bid to catch those responsible and we will take action against them.

“We’d also like to speak to anyone who may have seen anything or knows who may be responsible as we are determined to combat the issue as behaviour like this will not be tolerated.

“The neighbourhood policing team will be working closely with Stagecoach to see what more can be done.”

Condemning the ‘prank’, Coun Alan Cullens, who represents Clayton Brook, said: “This isn’t the first time that dangerous incidents like these have occurred in the village.

“We had a similar situation a few years ago when services had to be suspended because youngsters were throwing bricks at the buses.

“It is despicable behaviour and they could cause a serious accident.

“We need to identify the youths responsible as soon as possible and take appropriate action as soon as possible.”