Plans by bus operators to introduce criminal record checks on all bus drivers miss the point of the problems with school transport, according to the T&G union.
The T&G said there was a legitimate public concern for children’s safety, but added that the safety of the drivers should also be considered.
“There is a legitimate public concern about the fitness of persons employed to supervise children,” said Stevenson, the T&G national organiser for transport. “But bus drivers are rarely, if ever, in a position of intimate supervision over the children on their buses, and there is almost no evidence of bus drivers sexually molesting school children in their charge.”
Stevenson said there were genuine concerns over the civil liberties and justice for employees, and criminal record checks on drivers should be applied consistently on agreed criteria by the Traffic Commissioners and not on an ad hoc basis by local authorities and bus operators.