A bus driver working the University Night Bus circular to campus was taken to hospital following an unprovoked attack on the high street in the early hours of Saturday morning.
According to a witness who was on the bus at the time of the attack, the battery of the bus went flat around 01:45AM, which forced the bus driver and the witness to wait for a controller to bring a booster battery.
Whilst waiting outside the bus, the witness stated a hooded white man whom he believed “was not a University student” approached on the right of the street and punched the bus driver before fleeing the scene.
Immediately following the attack, the bus driver allegedly stated “he couldn’t see”; his nose was also disjointed at the bridge and bleeding.
After the attack, the witness called emergency services. They also claimed they were waiting for the call receiver for around ten minutes. In the interim, the controller flagged down a police car which allowed them to make a statement.
Talking to someone familiar with the Night Bus service, they stated that they had concerns about the efficiency of the service and how this potentially puts drivers in danger. “If more people were using the bus service then it would be safer. Most of the time the buses are empty because it might not suit the needs of students.”
“If more people were using the bus service then it would be safer. Most of the time the buses are empty because it might not suit the needs of students.”Anonymous student
They went on to state that they believed the route could be improved by the University and Stagecoach, claiming that it doesn’t necessarily benefit students living in certain areas like Mount Pleasant or Pennsylvania Road. They also believe the service could be better advertised by the University.
Exeposé was also told how the driver working the Night Bus circular route is the only bus driver working on the high street after midnight, meaning the only support a bus driver can receive will be from the bus depot itself.
A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police told Exeposé: “Police are investigating an unprovoked assault on a bus driver in Exeter which left him with serious injuries. The victim was stood at the bus stop outside the Build a Bear store in the high street when the incident happened around 2AM on Saturday 30 October. “A man approached and punched him once in the face. The victim sustained a broken nose and fractured eye socket which required hospital treatment. “Police officers attended and carried out an area search for suspect who left in the direction of Bedford Square. He was not located. “Officers are appealing for witnesses and seeking a suspect who is described as white, in his late teens or early 20s, just under six ft tall and wearing all black clothing and hoody.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police via email@example.com or by telephone 101, quoting crime reference CR/094619/21”.
The Night Bus service was established with Stagecoach for the academic year 2021/22 to support students returning from the city centre. Due to the University subsidising the service to ensure student affordability, the single fare is only £2. The service runs between 20:55PM to 04:24AM every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.