Sir,- The number 4 bus was en-route towards Leeds city centre from Pudsey at around 7.20pm yesterday evening when the driver pulled up at the stop opposite Main Line Social Club on Pudsey Road after finishing his shift.
He disembarked, leaving the doors wide open to the evening chill. The minutes ticked by, but no replacement driver turned up. As time went by, it became clear that no driver was coming. Several people, who were seated downstairs jokingly asked if there was anyone who could drive a bus, now wondering how they were going to get home.
The incident was not the first to strike the ill-fated bus as just several hundred yards down the same road, it had narrowly avoided a collision with a fire engine that had raced round a corner onto Pudsey Road. Only the quick action of the bus driver prevented a disaster. The fire engine then turned its siren on – which wasn’t on prior to the near-collision.
The bus’s occupants scarcely had time to breathe a sigh of relief before they were abandoned at the bus shelter – where they remained for around 20 minutes.
Luckily they were eventually rescued and as the next bus turned up. The original bus was left empty, with the doors open and lights on. Hopefully no-one stole it and went for a joy-ride!
Two passengers who were traveling from Swinnow to attend the annual Night Light celebrations, said they would get an Uber next time.
There has been a number of cancelled buses recently due to a shortage of drivers. Fancy a career change anyone?
- Michelle Corns, Armley
A spokesperson for First Leeds responded: “We can only apologise to customers who were left in this situation. It appears the driver mistakenly thought his colleague replacement was nearby and so left the bus at the stop to make his way to the next service on his driving schedule. The driver was instructed to tell passengers what was happening and we will speak with him to ensure this took place and provide refresher training as needed.
“Due to exceptionally heavy traffic in Leeds with the start of Leeds Light Night, many bus services were delayed including our drivers making their way to changeovers. The new driver for this service arrived as quickly as possible to enable customers to continue their journeys.”