A SCHOOL bus driver has lost his licence after there were two crashes when he spilled diesel on a stretch of a main road.

Martin Tinsley, 61, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Welshpool Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday after admitting driving a heavily leaking bus from Llanfyllin to Llansantffraid.

Tinsley, of Maesbury Marsh, near Oswestry, told the court he now faces losing his business as the conviction means he will no longer be able to drive or hold the necessary licence to own such a company.

The court heard that Tinsley noticed the leak after making a school drop-off in Llanfyllin on January 17. He decided to drive the bus away from the school, as a substantial diesel spillage would have forced it to close for the day.

Helen Tench, prosecuting, said police were called to a one-vehicle road traffic collision and immediately found diesel on the road.

There was then a report of another collision, with a car ending up on its roof after the driver lost control as a result of the spillage.

Other road users complained about the road surface and police and the fire service reported that they had struggled to control their vehicles at the scene.

The school bus being driven by Tinsley was identified as the leaking vehicle and he immediately owned up to driving it, saying that he was taking it back to the depot to fix.

Euros Jones, for Tinsley, said: “He wishes to apologise to everyone involved.

He wanted to get the bus away from the school.

“He fully accepts now that he should have taken it down the road and stopped there.

He had no idea of the amount of diesel that was being spilt.

“The effects this will have on him will be devastating.

“It will be the end of his business, he will have to sell it,” said Mr Jones.

“He is a volunteer driver for numerous charities and supports the Three Peaks Challenge, which will have to stop.”

Mr Jones added the mandatory driving ban would have further implications for Tinsley, who lives alone with no nearby public transport links, and cannot walk or cycle long distances due to illness.

Tinsley was banned from driving for 18 months and must take an extended re-test to get his licence back.

He must also pay a £530 fine, £85 costs and a £53 surcharge.