Bus driver suspended then commended

Bus driver suspended then commended

Bus driver suspended then commended

An Auckland bus driver whose vehicle broke down on a railway level crossing was threatened with the sack, then praised for averting a collision with a passenger train.

When the bus stalled on the Onehunga crossing on Monday morning, the bells sounded, lights flashed and barrier arms came down on top of the bus.

The bus driver, a 42-year-old woman, ran down the railway line waving her arms to stop the oncoming train, which had just picked up passengers from Onehunga railway station, about 700m away, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The woman was suspended on full pay following a meeting with her NZ Bus bosses.

In a letter seen by the Herald, the Onehunga depot manager Duncan McGrory told her the company was conducting "an investigation into the allegation you positioned your bus across the railway lines. These allegations are potentially serious misconduct and an outcome may include the termination of your employment".

But after a meeting between the company, driver and union on Thursday, she was taken off suspension and commended verbally.

Union branch secretary Gary Froggatt said he was working with the company over the way it handled the incident and had advised it to update its ageing buses.