Coach Drivers Swap Seats At 60mph

There are claims the driver of a football supporters' coach swapped places with a colleague while travelling at 60mph on a dual carriageway, leaving passengers frightened and angry.

The incident happened as the coach, carrying fans of Portsmouth FC, travelled along the A34 heading to the season-opening match at Middlesbrough.

It was about 90 minutes into the journey when the drivers were seen by horrified passengers to swap places to allow one to go to the toilet.

It is believed that the incident happened in the area covered by Thames Valley Police.

Passengers who had been on board the coach, operated by Vision Travel, reported to the football club that the coach lurched to the side during the changeover.

It is understood that a new driver was sent by Vision Travel, Portsmouth FC's official travel partner, to meet the coach at Middlesbrough and that the two drivers involved have been suspended.

Derek Stone, stadium manager and safety officer for Portsmouth FC, said that they had reported the matter to the police.

He said: ''We have been made aware by our supporters of their obvious concerns following the incident. We received an email from one and talked to another.

''The club is concerned about this and, given the seriousness, we have asked the police to make sure it is formally investigated.

''We want to make sure nothing like this is repeated.

''Vision Travel is our official away travel coach company. They are taking positive steps to deal with this issue.''

A spokeswoman for Vision Travel declined to comment for ''legal reasons''.