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Cul-De-Stuck! – School Party Coach Becomes Wedged Across Residential Road

Published on: 8 Jul, 2016
Updated on: 10 Jul, 2016
The bus wedged across Mountside

The bus wedged across Mountside

A coach driver taking London school children to Henley Fort, on the Hog’s Back, managed to wedge his coach in a Guildford cul-de-sac yesterday afternoon (July 7), after taking a wrong turning.

Some residents in Mountside, that runs parallel with  The Mount, were left boxed in when a turning manoeuvre by the driver failed and left the coach stuck across the whole width of the residential road.

Mountside resident James McColl, who sent in the accompanying photos to The Guildford Dragon NEWS, said: “The coach driver turned into Mareschal Road, which leads to Mountside, instead of driving up The Mount. But Mountside comes to a dead-end and has no turning circle, so long vehicles need to back down slowly to the bend below and turn there.

Students, seen here still on the coach, had to be led across the field, to Henly Fort, on foot.

Students, seen here still on the coach, had to be led across the field, to Henly Fort, on foot.

“On this occasion, the coach driver decided, inexplicably, because the vehicle was longer than the road’s width, to attempt a “three-point turn”. That manoeuvre involved many more than three turns and resulted in the vehicle being at 90 degrees to the road with the rear embedded deeply into the front hedge of number 44 and with the nose touching the hedge of the opposite garden, locked solid.

Two recovery trucks were called and the coach was eventually released, after three hours, at 7pm.

Two recovery trucks were called and the coach was eventually released, after three hours, at 7pm.

“The driver kept trying to turn the vehicle but in so doing caused considerable damage to hedges and residents heard the tree in the garden of number 44 make a loud cracking noise. He refused to listen to shouts to stop from people and police were called to resolve the situation.

“The group leaders took the students by foot over the field to Henley Fort with their luggage. Meanwhile, two large tow trucks were summoned by the police and after much effort, the coach was released by 7pm. There was no vehicular access for the residents of the top four houses during this time and a fairly large group of residents and walkers watched the coach being moved with expert help.

The large hole left in the damaged hedge

The large hole left in the damaged hedge

“One resident, who has lived in Mountside since 1971, observed that this is the first time any such thing had happened in living memory. There is now a large hole in the damaged hedge, which police have made safe as a temporary measure.”

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Responses to Cul-De-Stuck! – School Party Coach Becomes Wedged Across Residential Road

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    July 8, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    What on earth was the driver thinking? Presumably Lewis Coaches of London, or their insurers, will be paying damages.

  2. James McColl Reply

    July 8, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    I don’t think that the Institute of Advanced Motorists will be inviting the driver to join any time soon.

  3. Brian Holt Reply

    July 8, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Having driven coaches for over thirty years, I can say that any sensible coach driver would know that you need at least another ten feet more than the length of your vehicle to turn around in a road.

    The driver should also know that continuous use of the brakes going backwards and forwards slowly will drain the air tank. Unless he keeps the revs up to keep the pressure up, the coach will not move.

    Most coach drivers have been directed into roads like this sometime or other, but, for safety reasons, especially as he had children on board, he should have called the police for help to reverse.

    If I had been going to a unfamiliar destination, like Henley Fort, I would had telephoned a local coach company in that area for direction in advance, or the local tourist centre.

    Perhaps a signpost to Henley Fort is needed at the bottom of The Mount, if coaches are going to be going there, to avoid this happening again.

  4. Frank Phillipson Reply

    July 8, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    About a week and a half ago I visited Mareschal Road (which leads to Mountside) on an early weekday evening. As I neared the lower end of Mareschal Road I was unable to leave because a coach started to enter the road. He couldn’t get further up the road because there was only room for one vehicle between the cars parked on either side.

    It seemed as if the driver was following directions or a satnav as a nearby resident tried and eventually succeeded in convincing the driver that he couldn’t get through to, I presume, Henley Fort.

  5. Geoff Hill Reply

    July 11, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    As said previously, the driver should not have attempted to turn in such a narrow road. He appeared to think that ruining a resident’s hedge was quite amusing.

    I hope his company pay for the damage and send their driver on a course to learn how to drive properly. Many years ago it was suggested to the council that an additional sign should be added to the road name stating that it was a no through road with no turning circle, it was ignored. Perhaps they will wake up now and act upon a sensible suggestion.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  6. Chris Youhill Reply

    July 13, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Oh dear – “over optimistic” and “incompetent” are the terms which spring to mind.

    I spent most of my 44 years in public transport very happily driving service buses in many areas.

    I also did quite a lot of coach driving and, unless on a regular well known route, there was always that nagging fear of a situation like this, especially with an on board audience.

    The dilemma was not unknown on service buses either.

    While generally not worried about route learning or otherwise I was always happy to help out at other depots as loved fresh routes, and once found myself operating a journey from Selby to Goole via Hemingbrough.

    I was assured that there would be plenty of passengers aboard to help but, Sod’s Law, the last person alighted at the beginning of Hemingbrough village – instructing me to tun left after the Abbey into Finkle Street.

    Cautiously I looked in vain for Finkle Street until I ended up with the Olympian double decker in an immaculately “manicured” new estate with wavy brick paved roadways – I told a delightful old lady that perhaps this wasn’t the main road to Goole, and she helpfully informed me, no doubt on the basis that I had an Austin Seven, to turn round and go back which I miraculously managed to do without harming a single flower or little bush.

    This is becoming like one of Ronnie Corbett’s long drawn out armchair jokes, but the gist is that Finkle Street is one long straight road, the Abbey end of which is School Street!

    I always considered as militant TGWU men who insisted that you shouldn’t go on a new route without being shown it, but I have to admit that the possibility of a potentially really serious incident does exist.

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