Thugs have targeted buses on a Preston estate with golf balls and pool balls as part of a sustained campaign of attack.
Services operated by Preston Bus and Stagecoach have both had windows smashed by a gang of youths on Ribbleton Avenue on Tuesday night.
It is the fifth attack to be targeted around the Moor Nook estate in the past fortnight and led to services being temporarily suspended.
Police are stepping up patrols in the area in a bid to catch the yobs in the act.
Today, Preston Bus operations manager John Asquith said it had more than £1,000 of damage caused to its fleet in a single night.
He said: “Our biggest concern is the safety of our passengers and drivers, but we cannot keep paying out to replace windows in our vehicles.
“It costs an awful lot of money and it causes a big problem.
“Not only are we having to pay for the damage but we have vehicles off the road, meaning we are not always able to operate services and therefore people think Preston Bus is not reliable any longer.”
He confirmed the operator had pulled services on the estate following incidents on Ribbleton Hall Drive and Grizedale Crescent last week, including one where a 42-year-old man suffered cuts to his face having been showered with glass.
But, on Tuesday evening, youths targeted services on Ribbleton Avenue between the Ribble Lodge pub and Gamull Lane, including one of Preston Bus’ new £300,000 hybrid vehicles damaged.
Preston Bus’ 8 service was operating on Moor Nook yesterday.
Colin Nicholson, assistant operations director for Stagecoach in Preston, confirmed “several” of its vehicles on the 1, 1a, 9 service were targeted on Tuesday.
Insp Dave Brown, of Preston Police, said it was taking the incident “extremely seriously.”
He said: “We realise this is a huge inconvenience to people using the services and obviously causes a problem for the bus operators.
“We want people to feel safe using bus services in Preston and we are taking steps to ensure the people responsible for this damage are brought to justice.”
Anyone with any information should call Preston Police on 101.