A tribunal has awarded £60,000 to a bus driver after it ruled he was unfairly dismissed following a crash in Onchan.

Robert Corrin was the driver of a bus which rolled down a hill and collided with a home on Hilberry Road in 2018.

He was dismissed by the Department of Infrastructure for gross misconduct, for not applying the handbrake and for instead using something known as the ’hold brake’, which the tribunal described as ’sufficient to hold the bus safe on a hill unless, as happened, the driver turns off the electrics by using the isolator-switch’.

Chaired by Douglas Stewart, the tribunal ruled in Mr Corrin’s favour, finding that Mr Corrin had turned off the isolator switch because of a faulty blind (that shows destination).

It said that it was ’a known fix’ to turn off the power and restart it, with him needing to fix the blind in order to run on schedule, being far from the Banks Circus depot.

However it noted that Mr Corrin had turned off the switch ’in the absence of proper training and warnings of the consequence of doing so’, and despite a similar runaway bus incident a few years prior (while noting that Mr Corrin was however unaware of this incident).

It stressed that while the hold brake was as effective as the hand brake, it should never be relied upon.

Concluding about its decision, the tribunal said: ’The Tribunal considered that on the evidence available to [DoT’s] Mr Ian Bates and then to [director of transport] Mr Ian Longworth, the circumstances of the incident could warrant a finding of gross misconduct - but only just.â?¦that finding of gross misconduct was within the band of reasonable responses of an employer but the Tribunal emphasises that the decision reached summarily to dismiss depended on the (flawed) evidence available to Mr Bates and then Mr Longworth’.

Compensation included: A basic award of £4,816, and in addition loss of earnings, lost pension benefits, loss of statutory rights and loss of free bus travel which all totalled £415,210.

However, the statutory cap of £56,000 was then imposed on the compensatory award, reducing that total to the award of £60,816.

The tribunal concluded that ’the price Mr Corrin has paid both in terms of loss of a job he so much enjoyed and financially has been unusually severe’.