PASSENGER safety has been put at risk on the Leigh Guided Busway after reports of wheelie bins being left on the tracks and bricks being thrown at windows.

A driver from the Vantage bus service, who did not want to be named, said that there have been "lots of problems" of anti-social behaviour and vandalism along the guided busway in recent weeks.

The driver said that "wheelie bins have been left on tracks" on secluded areas of the guided busway, which transports passengers from Leigh, Atherton, and Tyldesley, into central Manchester.

He also said that "bricks" and other items have been thrown at the bus windows along the tracks, which is causing safety concerns to drivers and passengers.

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Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), which operates the Guided Busway along with First Manchester, said that it is aware of "several incidents" of anti-social behaviour that have taken place along the tracks.

Working alongside the police, the operators say that a "zero-tolerance approach" is being taken towards crime and anti-social behaviour, and that the reported incidents are being looked into.

'Zero-tolerance' approach to anti-social behaviour

Leigh Journal: TfGM said they are aware of several incidents of anti-social behaviour on the buswayTfGM said they are aware of several incidents of anti-social behaviour on the busway (Image: TfGM)

Kate Green, TfGM’s TravelSafe Partnership Manager, said: “We are aware of several incidents which have taken place along the Leigh Guided Busway, which is currently being monitored by the TravelSafe Partnership as part of its zero-tolerance approach to crime and antisocial behaviour on public transport.

“Our control rooms operate 24/7 and monitor feed from more than 3,800 CCTV cameras across the public transport network, including the Leigh Guided Busway.

"The TravelSafe Partnership, which includes the police, will continue to work with operators to patrol the network to reassure the travelling public, deter crime and antisocial behaviour and take appropriate action when necessary.”

Concern over hedgehog mortalities

Leigh Journal: Concerns over hedgehogs mortalities has also been raised on the buswayConcerns over hedgehogs mortalities has also been raised on the busway (Image: TfGM)

In addition to the reports of anti-social behaviour, the Vantage bus driver also expressed concerns about hedgehogs being run over after making their way onto the tracks.

The driver said he has had to stop the bus numerous times over the years to move hedgehogs to safety, and spoke of his "heartbreak" when he has seen the animals lying deceased on the tracks.  

A spokesperson for TfGM said that as the habitat varies along the guided busway route, so does the risk of hedgehog mortality.

However, it was stressed that the busway "does not have higher volumes of mammal deaths versus the equivalent of a public highway".

The spokesperson added: "The Guided Busway does have wildlife barriers, amphibian tunnels and mammal shelves that assist wildlife and minimise mortality risk at certain locations.

"The location and additional feedback from drivers is very important in additional to our own infrastructure checks, if we are to seriously investigate concerns.

"TfGM will be trying to find out further information from the driver to see if there are any “geographical hotspots” where additional measures can be considered."