Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bus company convicted after woman's death in Bedford

Bedford Bus Station Image copyright N Chadwick/Geograph
Image caption The redeveloped Bedford Bus Station opened in March 2015

A bus company has been convicted of a health and safety breach after a woman was run over and died at a bus station.

Nicola Berridge, 53, from Biggleswade, was hit by a lorry delivering sand during the redevelopment of Bedford station on 13 February 2015.

Cambus Ltd was found guilty of failing to discharge a duty to a non-employee under the Health and Safety Act.

The jury at St Albans Crown Court acquitted road surfacing contractor DJT Surfacing Ltd of the same charge.

Bedford Borough Council pleaded guilty last year and will be sentenced alongside Cambus in October.

'Catastrophic injuries'

Ms Berridge had walked through a gap between two buses and on to a pedestrian crossing, which was partially blocked by a parked lorry belonging to a company contracted by DJT.

She stepped in front of the eight-wheel HGV as it began to pull away and suffered "catastrophic and immediately fatal injuries," jurors were told.

Prosecutor Valerie Charbit said the lorry driver checked his mirrors and moved forward slowly but did not see her, most likely because she out of his field of vision.

The construction of a new bus station with a concourse and covered outdoor area began in late January 2014 and carried on until 2015, opening on 22 March that year.

The trial heard the bus station site was frequently congested and there was a problem with contractors' vehicles being parked in the working part of the station.

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