Stagecoach bus driver drove through level crossing

A bus driver drove through closing barriers of a level crossing in Devon 15 seconds before an express train passed, a court has heard.

Edwin Doyle, 61, drove through the barrier, despite warning signals, and caused his sole passenger to dive to the floor to avoid flying glass.

Doyle, of Haven Close, Exeter, admitted driving the double-decker carelessly at the Hele and Bradninch crossing.

Exeter magistrates fined him £350 and put eight points on his licence.

'Scared and frightened'

The court heard Doyle failed to recognise the warning signals and drove across the track 15 seconds before the Paddington to Penzance service passed.

CCTV showed that he smashed through the closing barrier and his passenger was left scared and frightened.

James Taghdissian, defending, said: "He [Doyle] was not able to see because of the light.

"It could have been much, much worse.

"Because of the sun he could not see the warning lights."

Magistrates said the case bordered on being dangerous driving rather than careless and said it was "extremely fortunate" no one had been hurt.

Doyle's employer Stagecoach has given him a final written warning.

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