Five buses smashed up by schoolchildren in Salford in three night rampage

Three buses on the 36 route and two on the 20 service were vandalised as they travelled through Little Hulton in Salford.

<p>Diamond Bus services vandalised in Little Hulton between November 15 and 17, 2022. Credit: Diamond Bus</p>

Diamond Bus services vandalised in Little Hulton between November 15 and 17, 2022. Credit: Diamond Bus

Five buses were smashed up by schoolchildren over three nights in one part of Greater Manchester last week, threatening the future of services in the area.

Three buses on the 36 route and two on the 20 service were vandalised as they travelled through Little Hulton in Salford between November 15 and 17. Schoolchildren are said to be behind all of the incidents with Diamond Bus reporting that some were seen wearing the uniform of the Lowry Academy. The operator, which has spent £115,000 repairing smashed windows since January, has now warned that it may have to remove routes from the area.

The school formerly known as Harrop Fold, which featured on TV’s Educating Greater Manchester, said it will not hesitate to take action against its students. A driver who was involved in one of the incidents, but didn’t want to be named, said a number of pupils wearing the school’s uniform threw missiles at the 36 bus as it turned onto Madams Wood Road, smashing the doors and a window.

In a statement sent by Diamond Bus, the driver said: “I immediately stopped the bus to ensure that all my passengers were ok, which luckily, they were.

Diamond Bus services vandalised in Little Hulton between November 15 and 17, 2022. Credit: Diamond Bus

“The Little Hulton area does seem to be where most of the incidents occur.

“However, in comparison to the number of journeys that are run on a daily, weekly and monthly basis these events don’t happen too often.

“But when they do, your main concern is for the passengers.

“I do love my job, the freedom it gives me is why I love it.

“I really wish the people doing this would stop.

“I don’t think they realise the serious damage they could cause.”

Diamond Bus North West deputy managing director Matt Rawlinson revealed the news at a Greater Manchester Transport Committee meeting last week.

He told councillors that all incidents are reported to the police within 24 hours.

But he said this anti-social behaviour is causing a shortage of vehicles, with delays in receiving replacement glass from Germany adding to the problem.

He revealed that Diamond Bus has spent £115,000 on glass this year alone.

A spokesperson for Diamond Bus said that only one of the incidents can be associated with the Lowry Academy due to their uniforms being identified.

However, the others were caused by a group of children of similar age located in the Little Hulton area, according to the operator which is owned by Rotala.

The bus company has been in ‘regular contact’ with the school since last week, warning that there is a possibility that the route will be removed from the area.

The school is now run by the United Learning academy trust held an assembly about the allegations and sent letters home with pupils, according to Diamond.

A spokesperson for the Lowry Academy said: “Like any good school, we take any reports of anti-social behaviour seriously and, should any of our students prove to have been involved in an incident, we will not hesitate to take appropriate action against them.”