Call for bus stop to be removed after A24 crash chaos

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Residents have called for bus stops to be removed along the A24 after a crash involving a van and a bus full of passengers.

The road was closed for several hours near the Washington roundabout on Friday, January 15, due to the serious crash.

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Emergency services were called at 7.30am along with an Air Ambulance which landed just north of the roundabout at 8.30am.

Paramedics treated several people at the scene.

A 35-year-old man from Worthing, who was driving the van, was airlifted to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton with suspected serious injuries.

Police later said his injuries were not as serious as first thought and he was released from hospital after treatment for a fractured wrist and collarbone.

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Metro Bus, owner of the bus involved in the crash, said a full investigation was underway to find the cause of the incident on the northbound carriageway.

A spokesman said: “The bus was at a bus stop, boarding passengers at the time of the incident. There were about 20 people on the bus.

“An ambulance was called for straightaway with the driver of the van taken to hospital although he was released later that day.

“We sent a replacement bus along so that passengers could finish their journeys.

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“That particular journey is a school day journey which means although it is a normal Route 23 and anyone can get on it, it diverts via the school so that school children have a direct bus that gets to school at the required time.”

The son of Patrick and Julia Purcell, of Storrington Road, Washington, was on the bus heading to college at the time of the crash.

In a letter to West Sussex County Council, which was also sent to the County Times, the couple have called for either pull-ins to be created at all bus stops along the road or for them to be removed altogether.

They said: “As the carriageway is clearly marked as a ‘clearway’ (which means no stopping), drivers are not expecting to find a stationary vehicle on the main dual carriageway.

“In all cases where the buses stop in the carriageway there is adequate verge to create a safe bus stop. Where there is not, the stop should be closed.

“Swift and positive action is required now.

“I understand that we are unable to prevent all accidents but when a vehicle stops in a fast flowing 70mph dual carriageway because it has been instructed to so by yourselves this is either negligence or serious Health and Safety breach - particularly in this day and age.

“We do not want our son’s life to become a statistic for your records.”

In response West Sussex County Council said: “We are investigating this collision along with Sussex Police and other partners. We are not in a position to comment any further at this time.”

The road was re-opend at 11am but delays continued for several hours as hundreds of drivers had become stuck in the traffic chaos.

Anyone with any information is asked to email collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101 quoting Operation Atherton.