Passengers struggling to pass 'undesirable characters' lingering outside Wakefield Bus Station

Concerns have been raised about troublemakers loitering around Wakefield Bus Station and making social distancing difficult for passengers.

Monday, 19th October 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 19th October 2020, 5:56 pm

People using the station have reported struggling to pass "undesirable" people at the entrance next to the city's old market hall.

Although a majority of bus passengers are said to be following face covering rules, it's also been claimed a minority are refusing to wear masks.

Arriva said it was aware of the problems and described the issues with the entrance as a "challenge".

Wakefield Bus Station

But the bus company has decided against imposing a one-way system into the station as it deemed it would be counter-productive.

Speaking to Arriva representatives at a transport meeting last week, Wakefield councillor Kevin Swift said: "Bus stations being bus stations there is a minority of people who are resolutely not wearing masks.

"This isn't scientific - it's just me (observing), but there's no obvious evidence of security at the bus station speaking to people about it.

"It's not a problem that can be laid at Arriva's door, but there are some characters who lurk around the bus station at that (market hall) end, who are definitely neither observing social distancing or wearing masks either.

"There's a tendency for them to be blocking one or another of the doorways.

"I know there are some, particularly older passengers, who are having to squeeze fairly closely past people who are not mask wearers."

Although bus drivers are exempt from wearing face coverings under the government guidelines, Arriva said it expected its staff to use masks so that the rules could be effectively enforced among the general public.

Company representative Kim Purcell told the meeting that Wakefield Bus Station "has its challenges".

She added: "We do have managers who walk round and ask people to put their masks on.

"We have looked at whether we could implement a one way system, but we came to the conclusion that it might actually be encouraging footfall in areas that don't need it. We'd be condensing people more and it would be difficult to manage.

"The more we restrict directions, the more enclosed we have to make those spaces which is why we took the decision not to do that.

"The doors as you say are a challenge. All three I would say are a challenge.

"The market stall entrance gets some undesirable people. The middle entrance tends to be where students congregate and the Marsh Way entrance is generally where our staff like to congregate.

"Our boundary stops physically at the doors so we try to work closely with the council to address those issues."

Local Democracy Reporting Service