Liberty Buses axes plans for triple-decker service after Beaumont catastrophe
Local transport provider in operational audit after flagship new service topples over at Beaumont roundabout
Disaster struck in St Peter yesterday when Liberty Buses’ state-of-the-art new triple-decker vehicle overturned on its maiden voyage outside Cheffins, narrowly avoiding a group of 400 passing cyclists.
The bus had left Liberation Square at midday, amidst a carnival-like atmosphere as great swathes of the public came out to see her off, to a cacophony of cheers, vuvuzelas and bunting. Aboard the vehicle were Liberty’s entire board of directors, as well as visiting foreign dignitaries, Crown representatives from the UK, Penelope Keith, and ten local schoolchildren.
The ‘Excelsior GR3’ made by Juggernaut Global, boasts the most advanced passenger facilities of any commercial transport service in the world, and was to be Jersey’s first road-going hybrid operating on solar power and positive-thinking.
Leon Dunstable, a pupil at Le Rocquier, was one of the passengers on the bus, after winning a splat-the-rat competition at his summer fete. He describes what happened. ‘Nothing seemed to be working right’ he explained ‘It took so long to get the food trolley from the second to the third level, I missed my stop: having already been told to reserve and pay for my sandwich with the driver. I finally ended up getting out at Bel Royal. It was raining. And I live in Georgetown. And after all that, they’d given me the wrong sandwich.’ ‘I’m allergic to pesto.’ ‘I wish I’d never picked up that mallet in the first place.’
‘I was sat on the second floor’ explained La Moye pupil Kirsty Wentworth ‘We had been promised full Wi-Fi service. There was loads of shouting coming from the bottom two levels, and lots of the windows had steamed up. I took my phone out to watch Love Island but nothing was happening. I couldn’t connect. My 4G wasn’t working. My 3G wasn’t working. I couldn’t even get that ‘E’ thing. I saw two boys on the first floor who were wearing virtual-reality headsets and were playing a combat game. They were hogging all the internet. I went downstairs and asked the driver if he could help. But he just snapped at me. He said that he didn’t care, and that he was ‘‘more concerned with trying to work out what all the flashing lights were on his dashboard’’. The next thing I remember was waking up in Anna Trigg’s with a bleeding nose’.
Stephen Sharpelbows, deputy vice-president of St Lawrence’s third largest bike club, The Hard Bucklers, was one of the cyclists who narrowly avoiding injury when the bus capsized. ‘I’ve never seen such carnage at the filter-in-turn’ he explained ‘And that’s bloody saying something. They get away with murder, them bus drivers….. tearing about in their own little bubbles…it’s a miracle no-one was killed.’ ‘…And I tell you!’ he roared ‘I’m from Yorkshire….' ‘‘Have a bit of consideration for other road users!’’ that’s what they need bloody telling’
Mr Sharplebows continued. ‘I approached one of them at the lights the other day’ he said ‘and asked, dead polite, whether he and his colleagues may consider revising their policy of driving three, four, five abreast along the smaller roads. He began bloody shouting he did! - accused me of being ‘‘anti-buses’’! He then aggressively threw scorn on my lineage, using the ‘F’ word and the ‘B’ word. Even the ‘C’ word. Twice. A couple of his mates, he had, on either side of him. Thought he was going to hit me, I did.’ Mr Sharpelbows sighed. ‘There’s just something about them uniforms of theirs.’ He said. ‘And those sunglasses…. And the whole wretched pack-mentality of it all’
Inspector Keith Honeydew of Jersey police was today appealing for witnesses. ‘We urge any members of the public who were at the scene to come forward. If anybody has any dash-cam footage; any motor-cyclists or drivers who were using phones at the time - to please call our incident room on 612612. We are also keen to track down a tall grey haired man in his sixties, wearing Lycra, who was noticed running in the direction of St Aubin carrying a black leather satchel full of small denomination coins.’