West Lothian school bus has ‘mouldy windows, a leaky roof and seats held together by tape’

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THERE’S mould on the window ledges, water dripping from the ceiling, seats held together by tape and even a missing window.

Johan Milne says the school bus her son has to catch every day is “sub-standard” – and a health and safety risk.

Johan Milne has blasted the bus firm for the state of their ageing fleet.

Johan Milne has blasted the bus firm for the state of their ageing fleet.

But she says repeated complaints have so far achieved nothing.

So now she has decided Conner, 12, will no longer go on the double-decker provided by E&M Horsburgh under a contract with West Lothian Council taking pupils from Winchburgh to Linlithgow Academy.

Instead he is catching a normal service bus, which costs £2.90 each way, and she plans to bill the council for the journeys.

Mrs Milne said: “The bus is full of mould – you can see it on the seats. Water comes in on the kids from the ceiling.

Johan Milne and son Conner

Johan Milne and son Conner

“There’s tape round the seats because the material is coming away and they just tape it up.

“Some seats are not attached to the floor and they just shake.

“And last week one of the children tried to open a window and the window just came out in their hand. The child went to tell the bus driver and they were blaming the child for it. The next day the window was still missing – they hadn’t done anything to fix it.

“We’ve been complaining for ages, but nothing has been done. And this is all the stuff we can see – who knows what else might be wrong that we can’t see?”

Shots taken inside the Horsburgh bus that is used to ferry pupils from Winchburgh to Linlithgow Academy

Shots taken inside the Horsburgh bus that is used to ferry pupils from Winchburgh to Linlithgow Academy

She said the bus is also late on a regular basis, once a full 90 minutes behind schedule. “This is something we are angry about, but not as much as the health and safety standards.

“I’m not putting my son on their bus until we get a 
standard of bus that’s right.”

Bus company director Mark Horsburgh said: “E&M Horsburgh have been operating this school route since August 2016.

“West Lothian Council will confirm that our operational record over that time has been excellent. I can also confirm we had two unforeseen operational issues last week.

Seats are taped up and a window which students accidentally (and easily) popped out still hadn't been replaced or repaired the next day.

Seats are taped up and a window which students accidentally (and easily) popped out still hadn't been replaced or repaired the next day.

“Passenger safety is the utmost concern to E&M Horsburgh and all our vehicles meet current West Lothian Council contract specification.”

West Lothian Council said it was aware of parent and community concerns regarding the school bus from Winchburgh to Linlithgow Academy and it was investigating all complaints received.

A spokesman added: “West Lothian Council has a penalty point system in place to deal with issues arising from the running of school contracts which can result in the termination of contracts.

“West Lothian Council takes the safe transport of our school children extremely seriously and will take all necessary steps to ensure the service provided by operators is acceptable for all concerned.”

He urged anyone concerned about the service to contact the council so issues could be investigated. He added the council would not reimburse commercial bus tickets while a service was still being provided.

Tape up seats

Tape up seats