Parents are ‘shocked’ and ‘angry’ after a window fell out of a school bus from Hermitage Academy last week.
No-one was hurt in the incident, and Argyll and Bute Council will only say that it is being investigated.
The move to double-decker buses in January 2013 was controversial, with many parents voicing concerns over safety, especially during high winds and on narrow sections of the B833.
And last Thursday a window fell out as the bus was taking pupils home to Cove and Kilcreggan; a single-decker coach was used on Friday, the last day of term.
Former councillor Danny Kelly was an outspoken critic of the move to double-deckers and said today: “I like many others in the Cove and Kilcreggan area was not happy with a double decker on this route – it is shocking this has happened but thankfully no one was injured .
“There have been a number of people commenting to me on the conditions on the bus with regard to heating and the condensation on the windows etc.”
One parent from Kilcreggan whose child was on board said: “As a parent I am concerned that a person being pushed against a window could cause the window to fall out of the school bus and the same pupil (or any other pupil) potentially fall out of the window.
“As a member of the public, I am also worried that the incident could have caused harm to anyone who was outside the bus when the window fell out.
“I understand (although I haven’t seen it myself) that there are fragments of glass on the Mill Brae which could cause damage to other vehicles and potentially cause an other accident.”
A council spokesperson declined a request to comment on the safety of the buses, saying only: “An investigation is ongoing into an incident on the school bus between Kilcreggan and Hermitage Academy on Thursday December 18.
“All the pupils travelling on the bus were delivered safely home.”
The school bus contract was awarded to Garelochhead Minibuses and Coaches Ltd following a long legal battle which ended in the Court of Session in Edinburgh; initially it had been awarded to Dumbarton-based firm McColls but the tendering process was ruled to be unsound.
Council staff worked weekends to clear overhanging branches from the B833 before the double-decker buses were used, but the authority stated that no extra cost had been incurred, as the work would have had to be undertaken regardless of the contract decision.