Safety of Coach Based School Transport in the UK: A Study of Safety Compliance of Coach Operators and Trust of Stakeholders
Authors: Ramachandran, M., Sahandi, M.R., Prakoonwit, S., Khan, W. and Selamat, S.A.M.
Journal: International Journal of Latest Technology in Engineering,
Coaches are considered as the safest mode of transport for children, but coach crashes result in a high number of fatalities per crash. In the United Kingdom (UK) alone 1218 children were injured in 381 coach crashes between 2005 and 2016. Schools in the UK rely on coach operators to provide vehicles for school trips. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, 78 coach operators’ licenses have been revoked without public inquiries in the UK due to operator’s non-compliance. There are only limited studies available, which examined the safety of children travelling by hired coaches in the UK. The safety of children travelling using hired coaches in the UK is investigated to identify the safety related issues. This is achieved through the analysis of existing literature, the national crash statistics, traffic commissioner reports and the views of relevant stakeholders. Sequential mixed-method exploratory research was used for data gathering and analysis. The results show that there is a critical knowledge gap within the stakeholders. The most significant safety issue identified is the stakeholders’ unawareness of drivers and coaches safety condition before and during school trips. This requires immediate attention before more children lives are put at risk.