Police are trying to track down vandals who struck at buses parked in a Jedburgh yard, causing around £12,000 worth of damage.
It was just after 6am last Thursday when the damage to the two 29-seater buses, a coach and minibus parked in Peter Hogg’s Bankend premises was discovered by the firm’s operations manager, John Armitage.
Police were immediately alerted and told The Southern this week that they are still conducting enquiries into the incident.
“The yard gates are normally secured by a very large padlock, which was missing when I arrived for work,” Mr Armitage told The Southern just hours after finding the damaged vehicles.
“As I walked towards the buses, I could see glass everywhere – the damage was absolutely massive.
“All the vehicles had windows or glass in the doors smashed. It was definitely not caused by kids just larking about and it wouldn’t have been quiet either, with all the breaking glass.
“There was also a small window in the office broken as well.”
The attacks followed an incident the previous week when another bus operated by Peter Hogg also had windows damaged.
“You have to think we’ve been deliberately targeted by someone. Hopefully someone will know who did this and we’d appeal for anyone with information to contact the police and for people to keep their eyes open and, if they see anything suspicious around our yard at night, to get in touch with the police as well.”
Mr Armitage says the vandals caused around £12,000 worth of damage and the attacks meant nearly all of the company’s regular services, including school runs, had to be cancelled for the day. However, the firm managed to hire a mini-bus to ensure that a passenger booked to travel from Ponteland for a hospital appointment was still able to complete the important journey.
“We’re a small firm trying to do our best and provide a good service for the local communities in the Borders, so for something like this to happen is absolutely heartbreaking and soul-destroying,” added Mr Armitage.
Peter Hogg of Jedburgh operates a fleet of almost 30 vehicles, ranging from small four-seat vehicles to coaches with 40 seats.
As well as its depot in Jedburgh, the firm also has a small satellite operation based in Hawick. The company was started in 1996, when the late Peter Augustine Hogg bought out the local Jedburgh taxi company for which he was a driver.
When the taxi operation was originally purchased, it consisted of just four cars and two mini-buses.
However, just four years later, the firm had been built up to a fleet size of almost 15 vehicles.
The business’ first base was a shop in the town’s Abbey Place. From there it moved to Old Bongate Mill.
It was in 2002 that Peter Hogg of Jedburgh moved to its present home at Bankend.