Legal loophole delay for egg-throwing drivers

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Two bus drivers who are accused of hurling eggs at a rival operator's vehicle in Preston have appeared before a hearing to decide whether they can stay on the road.

Stagecoach drivers Jason Martin Lowe and Patrick Ryan Turner, both 20, have been suspended from work and hit with police fines after admitting throwing eggs at Preston Bus services in Ribbleton and New Hall Lane.

They have been warned they could lose their bus driving licences despite a legal loophole getting their case put back until next year – which sparked a new war of words between the rival firms.

After the hearing, a Stagecoach spokesman has called on the authorities to investigate the "provocative, aggressive and unprofessional behaviour" of Preston Bus workers.

North West Traffic Commissioner Beverley Bell yesterday decided to adjourn a hearing to decide whether the pair, who gave their addresses as Preston bus station, should keep their licences.

It came after solicitor James Backhouse, representing the drivers, argued that to release details on the incident in public would be in breach of his clients' rights under the Data Protection Act.

Following the hearing, a Stagecoach spokesman admitted that its drivers' actions had been "unacceptable" and called on the Commissioner to investigate Preston Bus workers' behaviour.

A police spokesman confirmed Turner was given an 80 fixed penalty notice on New Hall Lane on September 25, and Lowe received a fine for an incident on Skeffington Road, Ribbleton, two days later.