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Monday 3 October 2011

Hotel Bus Demolishes Colnbrook Street Light

Passengers unhurt and continue journey on foot

Photographs: Lee Chappell

Residents at the eastern end of normally sleepy Colnbrook was shaken by loud noises as a National Express Hotel Hoppa bus collided with a lamp post.

The bus with several passengers was proceeding westwards along the Old Bath Road. It came from near-by Heathrow Airport. The bus was driving down the M25 bridge and had passed the 30 m.p.h. speed restriction sign. Seconds later the bus demolished the lamp post and end-up with one wheel suspended off the ground.

Nearby Elbow Meadow residents heard several loud bangs following by a metallic scraping sound at about 17:30 on Sunday 2 October 2011.

Rushing outside they saw a Hotel Hoppa bus at the junction with Poyle New Cottages road literately perched on top of the remains of the lamp post. The damaged bus was unable to continue its journey. Passengers left the bus and continued their journeys on foot.

The Hotel Hoppa bus carries passengers between local hotels and Heathrow Airport for a £4.50 fare.

Thames Valley Police arrived at 17:44 and stayed for over an hour until 18:48. A police spokesman said:-

"The electricity company was called to make the lamp post safe. As this was a single vehicle, damage only collision, police do not have any further involvement, therefore can't comment or speculate on possible causes for the collision."

Local residents say this spot, just after the 30 m.p.h. speed sign, is an accident zone. A person was killed in an accident at the same spot some three years ago. Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) are often seen speeding pass the 30 m.p.h. sign then breaking hard because of the bend in the road.

Residents would like the 30 m.p.h. sign moved to the top of the M25 bridge and a bend sign introduced to give motorists better advance warning.

A Hotel Hoppa spokesperson said:

"On Sunday 2 October, a Hotel Hoppa vehicle was involved in a road traffic accident. We are investigating the cause and working with the local police force.

"The bus was carrying a small number of passengers. There were no injuries."

The Hotel Hoppa spokesperson added the bus was taken out of service after the crash. Their driver was familiar with the route. Information from the vehicle's tachograph will form part of the company's own investigation.

Hotel Hoppa is a network of bus services operated by National Express coaches, connecting major hotels with Heathrow Airport.