THE father of a toddler who narrowly escaped serious injury when a bus mounted the pavement says the incident was caused by bus company rivalry and parking chaos.
Lee Challinor, whose children attend Highfield Primary School in Blacon, has complained to police and says it shows how the rivalry between the two companies in Blacon will result in an accident.
“When parents are parked on Blacon Point Road, there is not enough room for two buses to pass one another – and if a First bus and an Arriva bus come along at the same time, they just won’t give way to one another,” he said.
“It happened the other day and a First bus mounted the pavement.
“If my partner hadn’t pulled our two-year-old out of the way she would probably have been hit.
“The driver refused to get out of the bus and just shouted, ‘Where do you want me to go?’”
A First spokesman denied the incident took place.
He said: “A manager attended the scene and carried out a thorough investigation, including viewing vehicle CCTV footage.
“We cannot find any such evidence of the incident as reported.
“From our viewpoint, bus movement near the school, particularly at school drop off times, can be problematic because of parked cars.
“We will continue to work with the police, other bus companies and the community to find a mutually satisfactory conclusion.”
Sergeant Ian Wilson of Cheshire Police confirmed that the incident had been reported, adding: “We have spoken to the bus company.
“We will now have a look at the broader issue with regard to the road near the school, parking and the bus route.
“We are aware it is causing some concern locally and we will work with the highways authority to ensure that it offers the best options in terms of safety and convenience.”
But Blacon councillor Reggie Jones said there is an ongoing problem which was caused by the introduction of traffic calming.
“These chicanes were built without proper consultation with residents,” he said.
“We have lobbied the council to do something about it and we need them to get together with residents and the school to do something about it before someone gets hurt.”
Cheshire West and Chester spokesman said they are working with the school and are currently looking at the issue.
Highfield Primary School head teacher Nicky Dowling said: “We would welcome any additional measures that the Highways Service can provide to ensure the safety of our children to and from school, and continue to work with our parents and the local community.”
An Arriva spokesperson said: “We haven’t directly received any complaints regarding our services which travel down Blacon Point Road, although we are aware that the road becomes very congested at school start and end times as the number of parked cars in the area increases.”