Leading bus operator Arriva has welcomed an initiative to improve passenger safety on its buses in West Yorkshire.
A dedicated team of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) assigned to the bus network is set to get on board and help out passengers.
A team of 15 full-time PCSOs will patrol bus stations and buses across the county. The Safer Travel PCSOs aim to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, increase the safety of women and girls, and reassure and protect more vulnerable travel users. The team is overseen by a Police Sergeant and supported by the local authorities, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and bus operators, including Arriva.
Susan Carson, head of operations for Arriva Yorkshire said: “Everyone using our buses – including our drivers – should feel comfortable while travelling round the county.
“The team of 15 PCSOs dedicated to working on bus routes is very much welcomed by us.
“This proactive initiative is the result of our great relationships with West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
“We as a bus operator are grateful of the time, resource and effort put into this excellent example of partnership working because we’re all pushing in the same direction – we want passengers and staff to be safe.”
The new PCSOs join a range of improvements across the bus network to increase safety, including:
- 24/7 CCTV recorded CCTV, which is monitored by LeedsWatch at 27 bus stations across the region. LeedsWatch will alert the police or bus station staff to incidents, such as anti-social behaviour as required and regularly provide evidence packages to the police to assist with successful prosecution of offenders.
- Dedicated help points in unstaffed bus stations which have already been used in medical emergencies.
- All West Yorkshire Bus Stations are registered Safe Places, offering help if someone is anxious or feels vulnerable while they are out and about.
- Bus station staff receive conflict management training to minimise disruption and safety concerns for passengers.
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “Everyone should feel safe in West Yorkshire, and that includes when travelling on public transport.
“The new team is a highly visible resource, ready to make a difference, so do feel free to say hello or ask for help when you see them.