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New Measures To Combat Bus Troublemakers

Transport and education chiefs are considering a range of measures to counter the growing problem of trouble on Coventry’s buses.

Around 30 representatives from Travel West Midlands, De Courcey Travel, the City Council, unions and the police met at the Coventry Hill Hotel yesterday to try to put a stop to the trend they feel is increasing.

More than 300 bus drivers have signed a petition complaining about youngsters’ behaviour after a string of damage and violent incidents.

Steve Japser, Coventry depot manager for Travel West Midlands, said an action plan would now be drawn up after the meeting.

He said:

"It was a highly productive meeting. We have stressed all along that we have not been sensationalising what is a real problem and I think the scale of it is now recognised.

"We talked about an education programme where we would go into schools and try and educate pupils to the problems, but on the other hand we will also identify and punish those who do commit offences.

"We will be using more video and other technology and we will also have a direct line through to the police who will take action on all instances of criminal damage.

"We will also look into the possibility of using bus monitors and even teachers travelling on some of the journeys.

"There is also the possibility of a code of behaviour, which has worked well at one school already. A child would be given a code saying how they should behave on a bus and they would sign and return that. Then it is monitored closely. That seems to work very well

"We also want to educate parents to the full implications of their children misbehaving on the vehicles which could ultimately mean the barring of the children and definitely involve parents paying for the damage.

"The bus operators really convened the meeting and it was very constructive. We are not saying trouble happens on every bus on every route but it is certainly occurring more than it has done before. "

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CWN / Business / A-Z / Travel West Midlands / 12 Feb 99

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