A BUS driver was hospitalised in a road rage attack after a motorist forced him to pull over his single-decker beside a roundabout before assaulting him.
The 59-year-old First Bus driver suffered facial injuries after being set upon by the motorist as he ferried rush-hour passengers on his number 92 service.
The motorist forced the bus driver to stop after pulling up in front of the bus at the Hardengreen Roundabout in Dalkeith, Midlothian, at around 8.05am yesterday. The incensed motorist began attacking the side of the bus, bashing its wing mirrors, and the driver got out of his cab in a bid to stop him.
It is understood that the bus driver had tried to take a note of the car registration number when he was punched in the face. He needed treatment at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary while the motorist drove off.
Incident investigators with the firm are checking CCTV on other buses in the area to determine whether the suspect’s car – only described as a blue vehicle – was caught on film. No security cameras were fitted to the bus driven by the victim.
First Bus announced on Monday that it planned to axe hundreds of jobs and close its Dalkeith depot after losing about £5 million over three years on underperforming routes in the Lothians.
Councillor Lisa Beattie, who represents the Midlothian East ward, said: “This was an utterly deplorable and inexcusable incident. Attacking a bus driver in the week when First drivers received what I’m sure was devastating and frightening news about their futures is dreadful. This is the very time when they deserve our support more than ever for carrying out a much-needed service for the public.”
Councillor Peter Boyes, who also represents Midlothian East, said: “It’s a sad situation when a bus driver just doing his job can be attacked like this. I hope they catch this guy and I would encourage any witnesses to come forward.”
A £500 reward has been put up by First, which will be given for any information that leads to a successful prosecution.
Paul Thomas, First managing director for Scotland East, said: “Assaults of this nature are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police are investigating after a bus driver was assaulted at the Hardengreen Roundabout in Midlothian. The victim suffered facial injuries and was taken to the ERI. Anyone who has information that can assist police with their inquiries is asked to come forward.”
All the rage
THE attack on a bus driver is the latest case of road rage to strike in the Lothians.
On Tuesday, a driver who tried to shake a cyclist off his bonnet by repeatedly braking and swerving after pursuing him through the city pled guilty to dangerous driving.
Last month, a model was cleared of ramming her car backwards into another driver’s BMW in a bizarre road rage incident.
In February, a court heard how a cyclist who suffered a broken nose when he was knocked off his bike by a motorist retaliated by punching the woman.
James Davidson was ordered to perform 270 hours community service.