A SOUTHAMPTON bus driver who ploughed into a railway bridge injuring scores of children plans to appeal his jail sentence.

Martin Robert Walker has been sent down for three years.

The 37-year-old bus driver crashed a double-decker into a bridge on Wellhouse Lane, Headbourne Worthy.

A total of forty-one pupils from Henry Beaufort secondary school were left injured.

Meanwhile, three of them suffered life-changing injuries during the crash on September 10 last year.

Walker, of Burke Drive, pleaded guilty to three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was jailed for three years at Winchester Crown Court.

However, an appeal against his sentence has now been lodged with the Court of Appeal.

Received on Tuesday, the appeal is still “in its early days” and is yet to be reviewed.

As previously reported, Walker did not know he was on the wrong route when his vehicle - carrying 72 passengers - crashed.

The bus roof was torn off, despite children warning him of the upcoming tunnel.

Prosecution barrister, Nicholas Cotter had argued that he was “an experienced driver of double-decker buses” but had not driven the route before.

He said that Walker was made aware through a familiarisation trip of the route.

Defending, Neil Fitzgibbon said that his client suffers from “poor planning, confusion of left and right, and needs constantly reminded of basic elements of his job”.

The court heard how just before the crash Walker stopped to let another driver through but “seemingly put no heed to height restrictions or signage on the route towards the bridge”.

A spokesperson for Stagecoach South said: “The thoughts of everybody at Stagecoach remain with the children affected by the accident and their families. Safety is our priority, and we fully supported the police investigation. We can confirm that the driver involved in this incident has been dismissed. Every year, Stagecoach invests millions of pounds in training its driving team as well as new technology to protect passengers. We are committed to learning lessons from this incident to make our public transport operations even safer.”