Warwick and Leamington MP speaks in parliament on limiting working hours for bus drivers after tragedy

Matt Western MP
Matt Western MP

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western has spoken in parliament in his bid to change the working hours of bus drivers following a crash in which a Sydenham schoolboy was killed.

Speaking to Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom MP Mr Weston said: "In 2015, seven-year-old Rowan Fitzgerald, a constituent of mine, died in a bus crash.

Rowan Fitzgerald

Rowan Fitzgerald

"Last week, having pleaded guilty, Midland Red—part of Stagecoach—was sentenced and fined under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

"At the time of the accident, the driver was 77 years old and had worked an average of 72 hours in the four weeks up to and including the week of the tragedy.

"Currently, this is not illegal, as short-distance local bus drivers can work unlimited hours.

"Will the Leader of the House consider having a debate on limiting working hours for local bus drivers to ensure that a tragedy like this is never allowed to happen again?"

Mrs Leadsom replied: "The hon. Gentleman raises a really tragic case, and I know we were all desperately sorry to hear of it.

"He raises an important point about the number of hours that individuals are allowed to work, and I encourage him to raise it directly with Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Ministers and Transport Ministers.

"There is always a balance to be struck between ensuring that people are fit for work and enabling them to earn a living, but he raises a very important point."

To read more about the crash and resulting court case click here.