A TRAFFIC examiner was forced to press the emergency exit button on a bus after he had challenged the Ross-on-Wye driver over his licence.

The examiner from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) boarded Michael Furnival's bus at Newent Community School in Gloucestershire on July 4 last year.

He asked to check the licence of the 66-year-old driver and DVSA records initially showed that Mr Furnival’s passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) driving entitlement had expired on May 19.

When the DVSA officer told Mr Furnival that he needed to make further enquiries with DVLA, Mr Furnival, of Primrose Close, Ross, said he was driving off the school premises to have a cigarette.

The examiner told him he should not drive away until the checks had been made but Mr Furnival did so with the DVSA officer on board.

The examiner had to press the emergency exit button in order to leave the vehicle.

When Mr Furnival returned to the school, another DVSA examiner approached the vehicle but he was shouted at by Mr Furnival. He then drove off at speed, forcing the officer to step backwards.

Further evidence from a public liaison officer claimed Mr Furnival had sworn and been angry and abusive in two phone calls.

Mr Furnival was called to a conduct hearing before the West Midlands Traffic Commissioner on February 22.

The DVSA traffic examiner told the regulator that subsequent investigations revealed Mr Furnival was entitled to drive a PCV. On the day of the agency’s encounter with Mr Furnival, the results of a medical test were being considered by the DVLA.

During his own evidence, Mr Furnival said he had given the DVSA examiner an opportunity to step off the bus before he drove away. He also claimed that the traffic examiner’s career was finished and subsequently left the conduct hearing, shouting that the commissioner could take his licence away.

In a written decision, the traffic commissioner said Mr Furnival had displayed the same aggressive behaviour during the conduct hearing which had been described in DVSA’s reports.

“A professional PCV driver should engage with and co-operate with DVSA,” he added.

“Mr Purnival chose the path of confrontation, driving off when had been told not to, and doing so with a DVSA traffic examiner on board, causing the latter to fear for his safety and the senior traffic examiner to call the police.”

He concluded that Mr Furnival’s conduct had been “bullying, threatening and wholly intemperate”, falling far short of that expected of a professional driver.

Mr Furnival’s entitlement to drive PCVs and large goods vehicles (LGVs) was revoked on March 1 and he will be disqualified for 12 months.