[QLD] Still no answer on 'runaway buses

By: Greg Worrall


Despite technical inspections by its own technicians and Mercedes Benz engineers unable to identify faults with its buses, Brisbane City

Despite technical inspections by its own technicians and Mercedes Benz engineers unable to identify faults with its buses, Brisbane City Council is yet to confirm if driver error is now being investigated for a series of pre-Christmas mishaps with Mercedes Benz buses.

Late in 2007, BCC drivers forced the buses to be withdrawn from service, claiming at least two incidents where buses had driven off with no driver input, with one bus allegedly crashing into a wall surrounding a retirement village.

With the buses removed from the fleet, a Mercedes Benz spokesman said it sent technical staff to Brisbane to work with council staff in an attempt to locate the source of the fault.

At the same time, the spokesman said no other Mercedes Benz customers had reported similar problems, however the company was keen to try and find out if there was a technical fault.

The company released a statement on January 9 saying its technicians, working with BCC staff, had not found any technical faults after checking all of the black-banned buses, but declined to comment further.

"There are no technical faults with the Mercedes-Benz buses used by the Brisbane City Council. Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific is working closely with Brisbane City Council for the prompt return of these buses to normal service," the spokesman said.

When asked if Mercedes was working with BCC to review driver training, as a potential cause of the problem, the spokesman said he was unable to comment further on the situation.

An initial attempt to question Brisbane Transport head Alan Warren on the issue was unsuccessful, with all queries referred to the BCC media unit, however no response to questions was received prior to the story being published.

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