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Arriva in Yorkshire

Arriva Yorkshire Team Helps Move People out of Wakefield After Concerns for Their Safety

06 February 20

Arriva Yorkshire has applauded the quick thinking and generosity of its team members, who helped to move people out of the city this weekend as firefighters struggled with a large blaze at the Speedibake building on Saturday 1 February.

Due to the nature of the fire, and fears that the smoke may contain asbestos, people were advised to leave the city centre with businesses closing and being evacuated.

The Arriva Yorkshire team at the bus station worked longer hours, ran free shuttle buses, and one driver even gave a disabled passenger a lift home in his own car, to help get people home safely.

Paul Flanagan, general manager of Arriva Wakefield, said: “Our team across Wakefield and the surrounding areas showed a tremendous amount of teamwork and dedication, with many employees staying to help people evacuate the city centre long after their shifts ended.

“We began by putting out regular announcements over the tannoy to advise customers to make their way home and had a team on hand to advise customers at the stands on the best routes to take.

“Due to some of the road closures and diversions in place, some of our bus services weren’t able to complete their journeys, which resulted in a large number of passengers being stranded in the bus station. As there were concerns that the bus station may have to be evacuated if the wind changed direction and blew smoke our way, we started putting on free shuttle buses to get people home.”

“One of our drivers in particular went above and beyond by helping a disabled passenger to get home by giving him a lift in his own car. One passenger with MS became upset that the buses were diverted away from his home, which meant he was facing a long and painful walk. Our driver Chris Williams volunteered to give him a lift as his car could go down a narrow alternative route which buses were not able to serve.”

Although there were contingency plans for the evacuation of the bus station, luckily this didn’t happen and everyone made it home safely.