An empty bus which was involved in an accident was the subject of 20 claims from `injured' passengers.

According to Charlie Jones, national head of transport at Weightman Vizards, the bus had an accident just after it had left the depot.

Jones said that the bus was out of service, the driver had not sold any tickets and the bus was completely empty

He said: "No less than 20 passengers alleged they were on the bus at the time of the accident and initiated claims, the outlay for which in terms of damages and costs could have exceeded £100,000."

Jones warned insurers about the growing threat of public liability claims for passengers involved in bogus accidents.

"Public liability claims could prove expensive as public service vehicles carry numerous passengers.

"From our experience it is becoming the norm rather than the exception that multiple claims arise from any accident involving public service vehicles no matter how minor."