Mon, 15 May 2023 at 7:50 pm BST
A council is to be prosecuted following the deaths of three people in separate incidents – and the serious injury of a teenager – on a guided busway.
The Health and Safety Executive will prosecute Cambridgeshire County Council under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Jennifer Taylor, Steve Moir and Kathleen Pitts all died in collisions with buses on Cambridgeshire’s busway between 2015 and 2021.
Taylor, 81, died when she was hit by a bus as she crossed the busway on foot at Fen Drayton in 2015. Moir died in 2018 when his bike clipped a kerb and he fell in front of a bus, and Pitts, 52, who was on foot, died after being hit by a bus in October 2021.
Just one month later, in November 2021, a teenage cyclist was seriously injured when he collided with a bus in the guided busway.
In December 2021, the council announced a section of the guided busway was being temporarily closed for the duration of an independent safety review by the HSE.
Following the review, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said it will be prosecuting Cambridgeshire County Council in court.
In response to the move, Cambridgeshire County Council said that “safety on the busway remains a priority” and extended condolences to the families of the people killed in the accidents.
“We can confirm the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has indicated they plan to start legal proceedings against the County Council, following their investigation” a statement on the council’s website read.
“We continue to extend our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of Jennifer Taylor, Stephen Moir and Kathleen Pitts.
“Safety on the busway is and remains a priority for the County Council and the operators that use the busway.”
The statement said that since its opening in 2011 the Guided Busway has seen 33 million passenger journeys, the number of bus services has more than doubled, and added that “during that time the council has worked with experts and made regular safety enhancements”.
It concluded: “There is a great deal of information to consider and for legal reasons it would not be appropriate to comment further in light of the decision taken by the HSE.”