The driver of a tourist bus which ploughed into the notorious Montague Street bridge in South Melbourne is facing criminal charges.

A 53-year-old Ballarat man will front court next month after the February 22 crash left 11 passengers in hospital with injuries.

At the time it took firefighters nearly an hour to free four people trapped inside the crushed Gold Bus Ballarat vehicle.

The passengers were attending a major international tourism conference in Melbourne and were visiting local landmarks before returning to the Convention Centre.

The bus driver was seen slumped on the ground near the bus after the crash, with a bloodied face and legs, before he was taken from the scene on a stretcher.

A safety gantry was subsequently installed at the bridge after numerous crashes at the scene.

The driver has been charged with six counts of negligently cause serious injury, six counts of dangerous driving causing serious injury and other traffic-related offences. He will front Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on October 19.