Bedford council pleads guilty over death of Biggleswade bus passenger

Luton Crown Court. Picture: Thomas Nugent

Luton Crown Court. Picture: Thomas Nugent - Credit: Archant

Bedford Borough Council has pleaded guilty to health and safety failings after the death of a Biggleswade woman in February 2015 – but two other defendants are set to go to trial.

Nicola Berridge died after being hit by a construction truck as she got off a bus at Bedford bus station. She suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 53-year-old, of Potton Road, passed between two stationary buses and across a zebra crossing before being hit.

The borough council pleaded guilty before Judge Andrew Bright QC at Luton Crown Court yesterday, but Cambus – which trades under the name Stagecoach – did not enter a plea, and DJT Surfacing Limited pleaded not guilty.

Both companies are to appear at a pre-trial hearing on October 18, before going to trial on March 11 next year. Cambus faces four charges of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act between February 2013 and February 2015, and DJT Surfacing faces three charges.

These include failing to ensure people in their employment were not exposed to risk, failing to make a suitable assessment of the risk to pedestrians being struck by construction vehicles, and not taking reasonable steps to ensure their contractors could work safely.

The trial is expected to last four weeks, with the council set to be sentenced at its conclusion.

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At the time of the incident, the bus station – a Bedford Borough Council-controlled site – was being demolished and rebuilt.