Arriva suspends Dewsbury to Wakefield evening service to Ossett Bus Station as anti-social behaviour is 'going through the roof'
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The operator made the announcement yesterday (August 7), saying the safety of staff and passengers is “paramount”.
The decision comes a week after police admitted that anti-social behaviour in Ossett is “going through the roof”.
Arriva issued a service disruption alert for the 126 Dewsbury to Wakefield service, saying it “will not serve Ossett bus station every evening after 6pm until August 13 due to multiple incidents of anti-social behaviour”.
The alert adds: “We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and the safety of our team and passengers is paramount.
“We will continue to work with local authorities and our travel safe partners to resolve this.”
Tony Homewood, independent councillor for Ossett, said: “It has really come to something when the local bus operator dare not send its own buses into its own bus station.
“The police, in the meantime, are not able to tackle the problem because it happens when the few police officers we have in Ossett are on their day off.
“The Mayor of West Yorkshire (Tracy Brabin) is responsible for public transport and the police and she seems to be failing at every opportunity.”
Residents were told last week that Ossett now has just four officers dedicated to neighbourhood policing.
PCSO Richard Firth spoke on behalf of West Yorkshire Police at Ossett’s monthly Police and Communities Together (PACT) meeting.
The officer said people had complained that the bus station has become a “no-go zone”.
He said: “In the last six weeks we have had 20 calls about nuisance behaviour at the bus station.
“We have visited some kids. We have given them contracts from the council not to go in the bus station.
“We have done various things behind the scenes but nothing seems to be working at the moment.
“The only thing that we have noticed is that on the evenings when we are rostered to work we don’t get any calls.
“On the evenings when we are on rest days it can be bedlam. We got loads of calls.”
The meeting heard the sergeant in charge of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority-funded safer travel officers had received more complaints about anti-social behaviour at Ossett and Cleckheaton bus stations than anywhere else in the region.
PCSO Firth said the high number of complaints is due to both stations being unmanned.
Arriva, WYCA, West Yorkshire Police and Wakefield Council have been contacted for comment.