A bus driver from Harold Bus Company has been described as “courageous” and praised for his quick thinking after he made the call to divert his bus to Dunstable coach station following a report of possible danger to the journey.
The bus, a Ford Transit B16F Minibus, was scheduled to arrive at the Town Hall at approximately 14:23. However the brave driver took a last-minute decision to divert to Dunstable after a call was received warning of an unattended item being left at the back of the bus. Dunstable is the bus station best equipped to deal with these kind of situations.
“Initially I thought it may have been a false alarm, but then I remembered what happened in the film ‘Speed’,” Gary Thorne, 43 and HBC’s driver of the year three years running told us. “There was only one way to find out if I was in the same situation as Miss Congeniality, and that was to get the vehicle up to 50mph.”
Despite having an eight mile clear run on the A5, he was unable to reach such high speeds resulting in a quick reassessment of the escalating incident. “I used all of the tools available to me, mainly my rear-view mirror,” the brave public transport custodian continued.
“A glance towards the rear of my bus showed that there was indeed an unattended package, so I continued to my diversion to Dunstable and had the emergency services waiting for my arrival”
The drive to the coach station was a slow and careful one due to the amount of rush hour traffic. The bumper-to-bumper nature of the traffic jam he found himself being escorted in by a Skoda Octavia and a milk float. It has not been confirmed if these were military vehicles or not.
On arrival Mr Thorne’s bus was greeted by four ambulances, three fire engines,12 police officers and an army bomb disposal unit who were the first to board the bus. After a controlled explosion on the now ironically named Tesco ‘bag for life’ the true extent of the danger was realised. There was none.
The phone call was received by HBC was from Elsie Duggan, 86 you know, who was informing them she may have left her shopping bag on the bus, and would get it back the next time the bus came round, in a fortnight.
Although the police have not released many details and certainly no names, a statement said they had “arrested a 43-year-old total dick-head for wasting police time”