Another Sussex bus fire delays Brighton and Hove Albion fans

Leigh Journal: TheSussexbus on fire on the A23 in Pyecombe TheSussexbus on fire on the A23 in Pyecombe

Brighton and Hove Albion fans had a mad dash to get to the game on Saturday after a bus burst into flames.

Seagulls' supporters were forced to get taxis and trains after their coach caught on fire while travelling to the club's game against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

The bus was supplied by Partridge Green-based firm Heritage Coaches, who were investigated by the traffic commissioner over separate matters in February.

It was the third fire on buses owned by several different companies run by the Stepe family this year.

The privately-hired bus was travelling to the American Express Community Stadium in Falmer from Haywards Heath in time for the 5.30pm kick-off against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

It caught fire at about 4.10pm on the A275 in Lewes.

Last month, a bus supplied by another of the Stepe family's companies, TheSussexBus.com, was consumed by flames on the A23 at Pyecombe.

In January this year, 55 youngsters aged nine and ten escaped from a dramatic blaze on board a Heritage double-decker as it travelled along the A29.

The next month, two subsidiaries of the firm, Round and About Ltd and Coach Hire Coaches Ltd, were given formal warnings after appearing at a public inquiry in Eastbourne.

The inquiry was launched after an unannounced spot check by Department of Transport investigators. It was revealed eight prohibition notices for mechanical defects were issued to the company's vehicles in five years, while one vehicle was not given a routine safety inspection on time.

One Albion fan on the bus, who did not wish to be named, said: “We were on the bus going to the Amex and the bus caught on fire.

“It was about an hour and 20 minutes before kick-off and we had been picked up in Haywards Heath and coming into Lewes at the prison roundabout.

“You could see smoke coming from the engine and everybody got off in time.

“It didn't go up very quickly which is lucky because it could have been a lot more serious and ended up in injury or even worse.”

A Lewes firefighter said: “We got called to a private bus going to the game full of supporters on the Offham Road because there was a small fire in the engine department.”

A Vehicle and Operator Services Agency spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the situation and we will assist the police if required.”

No one from Heritage Coaches was available to comment yesterday.

Comments (22)

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6:28am Tue 8 Oct 13

power_ranger says...

insurance scams?
insurance scams? power_ranger
  • Score: -2

8:28am Tue 8 Oct 13

qm says...

power_ranger wrote:
insurance scams?
There would appear to be at least one common factor involving these incidents! Whether the causes are criminal, improper maintenance or whatever else needs to be resolved before someone is seriously injured or worse.
[quote][p][bold]power_ranger[/bold] wrote: insurance scams?[/p][/quote]There would appear to be at least one common factor involving these incidents! Whether the causes are criminal, improper maintenance or whatever else needs to be resolved before someone is seriously injured or worse. qm
  • Score: 8

8:53am Tue 8 Oct 13

brighton bluenose says...

Argus on the ball as ever - happens Saturday pm and reported Tuesday morning?!!
Argus on the ball as ever - happens Saturday pm and reported Tuesday morning?!! brighton bluenose
  • Score: 8

8:54am Tue 8 Oct 13

hey mongo says...

the busses that take you to brighton games are an accident waiting to happen...the ones which leave the race hill look so dangerous can hardly get up the hills on the way over there.....the buses are like 30-40 years old i not joking either
the busses that take you to brighton games are an accident waiting to happen...the ones which leave the race hill look so dangerous can hardly get up the hills on the way over there.....the buses are like 30-40 years old i not joking either hey mongo
  • Score: 7

9:29am Tue 8 Oct 13

DaRMiH says...

I believe it is a judgement from God on the greedy and corrupt business of football.
I believe it is a judgement from God on the greedy and corrupt business of football. DaRMiH
  • Score: -1

10:03am Tue 8 Oct 13

Roger Francais says...

Come on VOSA - lets get this put to bed once and for all for crying out loud!

Mr Denton --- get that kettle on and the rich tea bought

Chris & Russ --- get those suits dry cleaned.
Come on VOSA - lets get this put to bed once and for all for crying out loud! Mr Denton --- get that kettle on and the rich tea bought Chris & Russ --- get those suits dry cleaned. Roger Francais
  • Score: 10

10:04am Tue 8 Oct 13

mr bronsons wig says...

Come on guys, even the fire service said it was a "samll fire", surely anyone is allowed a tiddler ?

Personally, I thinlk we have a mobile arsonist on our hands, who is following the bus in motion, then 'milk tray man' style accessing the bus whilst in motion and setting the engine bay alight.

The tragedy is, that Sussex is losing some of the finest examples of elderly Neoplans, Dafs, Van Hools & Setra vehicles the UK has.

I fear this time the Stepe family will be going to see the Traffic Commisioner regarding this latest pyrotechnic display for "Tea and biscuits",.......onl
y there wont be any tea, and certainly wont be any biscuits

Good luck to them in explaining this one, Even the Great Santini would struggle to escape this time.....we shall see
Come on guys, even the fire service said it was a "samll fire", surely anyone is allowed a tiddler ? Personally, I thinlk we have a mobile arsonist on our hands, who is following the bus in motion, then 'milk tray man' style accessing the bus whilst in motion and setting the engine bay alight. The tragedy is, that Sussex is losing some of the finest examples of elderly Neoplans, Dafs, Van Hools & Setra vehicles the UK has. I fear this time the Stepe family will be going to see the Traffic Commisioner regarding this latest pyrotechnic display for "Tea and biscuits",.......onl y there wont be any tea, and certainly wont be any biscuits Good luck to them in explaining this one, Even the Great Santini would struggle to escape this time.....we shall see mr bronsons wig
  • Score: 8

11:12am Tue 8 Oct 13

Man of steel says...

mr bronsons wig says a mobile arsonist-'milk tray man' style.
I wonder if it is the same person that did the West Pier?
Twice.
mr bronsons wig says a mobile arsonist-'milk tray man' style. I wonder if it is the same person that did the West Pier? Twice. Man of steel
  • Score: 2

12:32pm Tue 8 Oct 13

taxidiy says...

power_ranger wrote:
insurance scams?
No, **** vehicles!!
[quote][p][bold]power_ranger[/bold] wrote: insurance scams?[/p][/quote]No, **** vehicles!! taxidiy
  • Score: 2

1:53pm Tue 8 Oct 13

whatevernext2013 says...

just one of many iffy bus companies used by local schools for trips out ,they might be cheaper to hire but do parents want there children put at risk so the school can save a few pounds ,its time to get schools to use the big bus companies who have better and safer fleets
just one of many iffy bus companies used by local schools for trips out ,they might be cheaper to hire but do parents want there children put at risk so the school can save a few pounds ,its time to get schools to use the big bus companies who have better and safer fleets whatevernext2013
  • Score: 1

2:16pm Tue 8 Oct 13

mimseycal says...

Heritage/theSussexBu
s.com ... Surprised? I am not. I'm amazed every time I get one of their buses and actually make it to my destination!
Heritage/theSussexBu s.com ... Surprised? I am not. I'm amazed every time I get one of their buses and actually make it to my destination! mimseycal
  • Score: 2

2:28pm Tue 8 Oct 13

mr bronsons wig says...

mimseycal wrote:
Heritage/theSussexBu

s.com ... Surprised? I am not. I'm amazed every time I get one of their buses and actually make it to my destination!
You may well make it to your destination....just covered in soot
[quote][p][bold]mimseycal[/bold] wrote: Heritage/theSussexBu s.com ... Surprised? I am not. I'm amazed every time I get one of their buses and actually make it to my destination![/p][/quote]You may well make it to your destination....just covered in soot mr bronsons wig
  • Score: 1

2:33pm Tue 8 Oct 13

mimseycal says...

mr bronsons wig wrote:
mimseycal wrote:
Heritage/theSussexBu


s.com ... Surprised? I am not. I'm amazed every time I get one of their buses and actually make it to my destination!
You may well make it to your destination....just covered in soot
;-)
[quote][p][bold]mr bronsons wig[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mimseycal[/bold] wrote: Heritage/theSussexBu s.com ... Surprised? I am not. I'm amazed every time I get one of their buses and actually make it to my destination![/p][/quote]You may well make it to your destination....just covered in soot[/p][/quote];-) mimseycal
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Tue 8 Oct 13

mr bronsons wig says...

Word on the street is, that they are this years official transport provider for Lewes Bonfire night......you will be taken by coach to the heart of the action........in fact , you will be the heart of the action, as the coach spontaniously bursts into flames outside the Crown Court Building.
Word on the street is, that they are this years official transport provider for Lewes Bonfire night......you will be taken by coach to the heart of the action........in fact , you will be the heart of the action, as the coach spontaniously bursts into flames outside the Crown Court Building. mr bronsons wig
  • Score: 10

3:17pm Tue 8 Oct 13

I_amatotalwrongun says...

Heritage PAH ... they left myself and my then 8 months pregnant missus standing on the deck of a cross channel ferry at Dover, on the way back from a day trip to Boulougne..... the bus just drove off , and the taxi back from Dover cost us £115... in their defence they coughed up,and by way of compensation gave us two tickets to anywhere, needless to say they got filed directly in the bin.
Heritage PAH ... they left myself and my then 8 months pregnant missus standing on the deck of a cross channel ferry at Dover, on the way back from a day trip to Boulougne..... the bus just drove off , and the taxi back from Dover cost us £115... in their defence they coughed up,and by way of compensation gave us two tickets to anywhere, needless to say they got filed directly in the bin. I_amatotalwrongun
  • Score: 1

3:30pm Tue 8 Oct 13

mr bronsons wig says...

hey mongo wrote:
the busses that take you to brighton games are an accident waiting to happen...the ones which leave the race hill look so dangerous can hardly get up the hills on the way over there.....the buses are like 30-40 years old i not joking either
These buses are usually Victoria (Sponge cake) Coaches and Village coaches. One in particular makes me cringe , its a J reg (1991) single decker Leyland every panel is different and it looks horrific. Its off side tail light has been out for weeks, last season.

The buses that go to the race hill are typically 23 years old H reg (1990) plain white buses

Sadly, previously this service was operated by Compass bus using modern low floor buses typically less than 6 years old

The only operators that operate good fleets there are Brighton and Hove, Southdown PSV, Compass Bus, and the better Coach companies such as Sussex Coaches and Worthing Coaches

The real culprets are BHA, who squeeze every tender down until thier pips squeek then take months to pay up........so ive been told
[quote][p][bold]hey mongo[/bold] wrote: the busses that take you to brighton games are an accident waiting to happen...the ones which leave the race hill look so dangerous can hardly get up the hills on the way over there.....the buses are like 30-40 years old i not joking either[/p][/quote]These buses are usually Victoria (Sponge cake) Coaches and Village coaches. One in particular makes me cringe , its a J reg (1991) single decker Leyland every panel is different and it looks horrific. Its off side tail light has been out for weeks, last season. The buses that go to the race hill are typically 23 years old H reg (1990) plain white buses Sadly, previously this service was operated by Compass bus using modern low floor buses typically less than 6 years old The only operators that operate good fleets there are Brighton and Hove, Southdown PSV, Compass Bus, and the better Coach companies such as Sussex Coaches and Worthing Coaches The real culprets are BHA, who squeeze every tender down until thier pips squeek then take months to pay up........so ive been told mr bronsons wig
  • Score: 2

6:23pm Tue 8 Oct 13

whatevernext2013 says...

mr bronsons wig wrote:
hey mongo wrote:
the busses that take you to brighton games are an accident waiting to happen...the ones which leave the race hill look so dangerous can hardly get up the hills on the way over there.....the buses are like 30-40 years old i not joking either
These buses are usually Victoria (Sponge cake) Coaches and Village coaches. One in particular makes me cringe , its a J reg (1991) single decker Leyland every panel is different and it looks horrific. Its off side tail light has been out for weeks, last season.

The buses that go to the race hill are typically 23 years old H reg (1990) plain white buses

Sadly, previously this service was operated by Compass bus using modern low floor buses typically less than 6 years old

The only operators that operate good fleets there are Brighton and Hove, Southdown PSV, Compass Bus, and the better Coach companies such as Sussex Coaches and Worthing Coaches

The real culprets are BHA, who squeeze every tender down until thier pips squeek then take months to pay up........so ive been told
two things your wrong on are you missed out metro bus and the park and ride is contracted out to the go ahead group ,in this case Brighton and hove bus who then sub contract out to smaller firms
[quote][p][bold]mr bronsons wig[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hey mongo[/bold] wrote: the busses that take you to brighton games are an accident waiting to happen...the ones which leave the race hill look so dangerous can hardly get up the hills on the way over there.....the buses are like 30-40 years old i not joking either[/p][/quote]These buses are usually Victoria (Sponge cake) Coaches and Village coaches. One in particular makes me cringe , its a J reg (1991) single decker Leyland every panel is different and it looks horrific. Its off side tail light has been out for weeks, last season. The buses that go to the race hill are typically 23 years old H reg (1990) plain white buses Sadly, previously this service was operated by Compass bus using modern low floor buses typically less than 6 years old The only operators that operate good fleets there are Brighton and Hove, Southdown PSV, Compass Bus, and the better Coach companies such as Sussex Coaches and Worthing Coaches The real culprets are BHA, who squeeze every tender down until thier pips squeek then take months to pay up........so ive been told[/p][/quote]two things your wrong on are you missed out metro bus and the park and ride is contracted out to the go ahead group ,in this case Brighton and hove bus who then sub contract out to smaller firms whatevernext2013
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Wed 9 Oct 13

remluf says...

hey mongo wrote:
the busses that take you to brighton games are an accident waiting to happen...the ones which leave the race hill look so dangerous can hardly get up the hills on the way over there.....the buses are like 30-40 years old i not joking either
They are not dangerous. They have an MOT test every year and a mini MOT every month whuich they have to pass. They may be slow and look a bit tatty, but that doesn't mean they are dangerous.
You people who use buses in Brighton are spoilt as you are all used to having new buses, but in other parts of the country buses of the type used in the football park and ride are the norm and are used on daily servuces and people living therewoud think nothing if these buses being used on P&R.
[quote][p][bold]hey mongo[/bold] wrote: the busses that take you to brighton games are an accident waiting to happen...the ones which leave the race hill look so dangerous can hardly get up the hills on the way over there.....the buses are like 30-40 years old i not joking either[/p][/quote]They are not dangerous. They have an MOT test every year and a mini MOT every month whuich they have to pass. They may be slow and look a bit tatty, but that doesn't mean they are dangerous. You people who use buses in Brighton are spoilt as you are all used to having new buses, but in other parts of the country buses of the type used in the football park and ride are the norm and are used on daily servuces and people living therewoud think nothing if these buses being used on P&R. remluf
  • Score: 0

8:15pm Wed 9 Oct 13

mimseycal says...

remluf wrote:
hey mongo wrote:
the busses that take you to brighton games are an accident waiting to happen...the ones which leave the race hill look so dangerous can hardly get up the hills on the way over there.....the buses are like 30-40 years old i not joking either
They are not dangerous. They have an MOT test every year and a mini MOT every month whuich they have to pass. They may be slow and look a bit tatty, but that doesn't mean they are dangerous.
You people who use buses in Brighton are spoilt as you are all used to having new buses, but in other parts of the country buses of the type used in the football park and ride are the norm and are used on daily servuces and people living therewoud think nothing if these buses being used on P&R.
Are you aware of how many of these buses have burst into flames this year alone?

Nothing to do with the age of the bus and more to do with the maintenance, or lack thereof.
[quote][p][bold]remluf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hey mongo[/bold] wrote: the busses that take you to brighton games are an accident waiting to happen...the ones which leave the race hill look so dangerous can hardly get up the hills on the way over there.....the buses are like 30-40 years old i not joking either[/p][/quote]They are not dangerous. They have an MOT test every year and a mini MOT every month whuich they have to pass. They may be slow and look a bit tatty, but that doesn't mean they are dangerous. You people who use buses in Brighton are spoilt as you are all used to having new buses, but in other parts of the country buses of the type used in the football park and ride are the norm and are used on daily servuces and people living therewoud think nothing if these buses being used on P&R.[/p][/quote]Are you aware of how many of these buses have burst into flames this year alone? Nothing to do with the age of the bus and more to do with the maintenance, or lack thereof. mimseycal
  • Score: 1

8:34pm Wed 9 Oct 13

paul_saul says...

mr bronsons wig wrote:
hey mongo wrote:
the busses that take you to brighton games are an accident waiting to happen...the ones which leave the race hill look so dangerous can hardly get up the hills on the way over there.....the buses are like 30-40 years old i not joking either
These buses are usually Victoria (Sponge cake) Coaches and Village coaches. One in particular makes me cringe , its a J reg (1991) single decker Leyland every panel is different and it looks horrific. Its off side tail light has been out for weeks, last season.

The buses that go to the race hill are typically 23 years old H reg (1990) plain white buses

Sadly, previously this service was operated by Compass bus using modern low floor buses typically less than 6 years old

The only operators that operate good fleets there are Brighton and Hove, Southdown PSV, Compass Bus, and the better Coach companies such as Sussex Coaches and Worthing Coaches

The real culprets are BHA, who squeeze every tender down until thier pips squeek then take months to pay up........so ive been told
I follow the small operators. Village coaches have retired. Their vehicles are actually in excellent condition, so much so that they are being snapped up by other companies, enthusiasts and dealers who are making a large profit. The Race Hill buses are all sold. You must be thinking of another company?
[quote][p][bold]mr bronsons wig[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hey mongo[/bold] wrote: the busses that take you to brighton games are an accident waiting to happen...the ones which leave the race hill look so dangerous can hardly get up the hills on the way over there.....the buses are like 30-40 years old i not joking either[/p][/quote]These buses are usually Victoria (Sponge cake) Coaches and Village coaches. One in particular makes me cringe , its a J reg (1991) single decker Leyland every panel is different and it looks horrific. Its off side tail light has been out for weeks, last season. The buses that go to the race hill are typically 23 years old H reg (1990) plain white buses Sadly, previously this service was operated by Compass bus using modern low floor buses typically less than 6 years old The only operators that operate good fleets there are Brighton and Hove, Southdown PSV, Compass Bus, and the better Coach companies such as Sussex Coaches and Worthing Coaches The real culprets are BHA, who squeeze every tender down until thier pips squeek then take months to pay up........so ive been told[/p][/quote]I follow the small operators. Village coaches have retired. Their vehicles are actually in excellent condition, so much so that they are being snapped up by other companies, enthusiasts and dealers who are making a large profit. The Race Hill buses are all sold. You must be thinking of another company? paul_saul
  • Score: 0

11:07am Mon 14 Oct 13

Lee Hatch says...

Too many fires from Sussex Bus owned by Heritage coaches. It is down to the greediness of the Stepe family and poor maintenance. Someone could be seriously hurt or die if this happens again and am sure it will. If you knew what this company was like to work for you would understand. Chris and Russell take these comments on board and when you are told that vehicles do not seem safe by your drivers, take notice of us before the next fire causes a death.
Too many fires from Sussex Bus owned by Heritage coaches. It is down to the greediness of the Stepe family and poor maintenance. Someone could be seriously hurt or die if this happens again and am sure it will. If you knew what this company was like to work for you would understand. Chris and Russell take these comments on board and when you are told that vehicles do not seem safe by your drivers, take notice of us before the next fire causes a death. Lee Hatch
  • Score: 3

12:52am Fri 18 Oct 13

xtrampoline says...

If anyone wishes to discuss TheSussexBus here (I personally hate them) Slow unreliable buses' staff not knowing the fares, rude and incompetent staff and thinking they have bragging rights when they are independent! (they are against non-independent operators and are vocal about thinking they are better instead of giving money between shareholders which anyone can become it all goes to one family) I set up this page, it used to be called I hate Sussex Bus.com but changed to opinions on because it can then bring in a level playing field if you want to join feel free! https://www.facebook
.com/opinionsontsb
If anyone wishes to discuss TheSussexBus here (I personally hate them) Slow unreliable buses' staff not knowing the fares, rude and incompetent staff and thinking they have bragging rights when they are independent! (they are against non-independent operators and are vocal about thinking they are better instead of giving money between shareholders which anyone can become it all goes to one family) I set up this page, it used to be called I hate Sussex Bus.com but changed to opinions on because it can then bring in a level playing field if you want to join feel free! https://www.facebook .com/opinionsontsb xtrampoline
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

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