Spot the dents and scratches on Arriva’s road-weary fleet
Arriva has had a bumpy first year since it started operating the national bus system on July 3, 2011 – and so have other road users.
It seems barely a week passes without reports of an accident involving an Arriva bus, or a photo is circulated on social networking sites showing one of Arriva’s bendy behemoths coming unstuck on the island’s narrow roads.
Just last Wednesday during morning rush hour, an Arriva bus crashed into a wall in Attard resulting in injuries to the driver and a fellow passenger.
Eight days earlier, a female cyclist was hospitalised after a bendy bus knocked her off a bicycle on the Coast Road before continuing towards its destination.
Several buses that were bought brand new last year are now covered in dents and scratches, evidence of their close encounters with walls, barriers and other vehicles.
Citing commercial reasons, Arriva refused to tell The Sunday Times how many accidents its buses have been involved in since the company started operations or how many of its drivers had been disciplined for their involvement in accidents.
“Arriva’s drivers are trained to the highest European and Arriva standards at our own training academy,” a company spokesman said.
“After accident investigation, the internal control team often opts for reparative training which takes the driver back to the training school,” he added.
The spokesman also said that the company had seen a significant drop in collisions involving its buses over the past year.
And that can only be good news for road users; Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi told Parliament in June that Arriva buses were involved 1,294 accidents between the beginning of July last year and the end of April – an average of more than four accidents per day.