Two passengers were taken to hospital yesterday when they were injured in a three-bus crash.

The accident happened at 1.15pm at the Old Steine, Brighton.

It took place where the bus lane merges into the main road just before the roundabout in front of the Palace Pier.

Roger French, managing director of the Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company, said the accident happened on a route not usually taken by drivers.

It was in effect because of the diversion from roadworks in North Street.

He said: "It was down to error. There was a misjudgement as one bus braked. The one behind went into the back of it and then the one behind that went into the back.

"All the drivers are OK but we are sorry there were eight passengers with minor injuries on two of our buses."

Mr French said the three buses were not write-offs and would be back on the road after repairs.

He could not give an estimate of the damage and said the drivers would be back on the road after filling in the relevant forms.

Passer-by Richard Walshe, 36, of Dorset Mews, was near the Royal Bank of Scotland opposite with his wife when he heard the crash.

He said: "One lady passenger was on the back seat of the second bus.

"All I can presume was that she was thrown off her seat when the bus went into the back of the first and then when the third bus hit she must have been thrown again.

"The traffic was pretty heavy and they closed the bus lane off."

Paramedics treated injured passengers at the scene for cuts and bruises. No one was seriously injured in the shunts.

A Sussex Ambulance spokeswoman said: "We took two people to the Royal Sussex County Hospital with minor injuries."

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: "Three buses were involved in a shunt and Sussex Ambulance attended just to check people over.

"The roads were quite busy but only the bus lane was closed.

"We were called to the incident at 1.15pm and everything was cleared up within about an hour."