“We get spat at on a daily basis, last week a bus driver was beaten up as he got off his bus in Romford by a group of kids probably trying to mug him, we are verbally abused every day, it’s becoming a nightmare.”
A bus driver based in Havering has spoken exclusively to the Havering Daily about the challenges he faces on a regular basis doing his job and how difficult it is now to be a bus driver,
“We work very long hours twelve-hour shifts, sometimes it can be even longer. Bus drivers are constantly tired, our job does have the odd quiet day depending on the route you are on but most times it’s full-on.
“People have got ruder and more abusive. Spitting at us is now normality. We get foul and abusive language all the time, especially when people don’t want to pay and they insist on getting on the bus not paying and then giving you a mouth full of abuse.
“They removed bus conductors to save money and now the driver has the responsibility of doing everything which makes our job even harder. Every day someone gets on the bus and either does not want to pay or tries to come up with a reason why they shouldn’t pay or even better tries to use a train ticket to board the bus.
“Many bus drivers feel intimidated, it was just recently that one of our bus drivers got beaten up getting off his bus in Romford by a group of kids. I had a huge fight break out on my bus a while ago when one of my passengers decided to smoke cannabis on the bus and another passenger objected to it and a fight broke out.
“I’ve had people lie down in the middle of the road and not move as I was trying to drive the bus. There is always something happening and often we have to stop the bus and deal with the situation on hand. We call the police and when there is police available they come and help us out which we really appreciate.”
The driver is also concerned about the poor quality of driving that there is on our streets today.
“Certain areas in east London are appalling. In places like Stratford and East Ham, there are some terrible drivers. They don’t use their mirrors, they drive in bus lanes, they have no road sense or respect for other drivers around them. Pedestrians often just step out in the road without looking or cross the road looking at their phone. It really is a nightmare to drive in these streets.
“Our job is becoming tougher each day. The challenges we face are increasing, our hours are long and our pay is poor that is why so many people quit the job.”