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UK Housing Estate So Bad Buses Were Forced To Avoid Stopping There

Emily Brown

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UK Housing Estate So Bad Buses Were Forced To Avoid Stopping There

Crime and anti-social behaviour has become such an issue in one Leeds housing estate that bus drivers were advised avoid stopping there completely.

Two bus routes through the Swarcliffe Estate in Leeds were cancelled on Saturday, 5 March, after teenagers reportedly targeted the vehicles and those on board with stones and rocks.

First West Yorkshire said its decision to avoid Swarcliffe was to preserve the safety of both drivers and passengers in the area, where members of the public are said to fear getting the bus or walking by large groups of people as a result of the issue.

Credit: Leeds Live/MEN Media
Credit: Leeds Live/MEN Media

In a post on Facebook, Councillor Jessica Lennox, of Cross Gates and Whinmoor ward, said the 40 and 56 buses would be diverting around the area "as a result of some serious vandalism that took place earlier".

One teenager said she 'wasn't surprised' to learn of the buses being re-routed, saying vandals 'throw stones and break the buses whenever they come down here'.

Speaking to Leeds Live about the issue, she continued: "Just the other day I saw three buses stopped at the bottom of the estate because they all had glass smashed everywhere.

"It had gone over a nearby mum and her pram. If you see a big group of people anywhere around here you turn around and go the other way."

The teen's grandmother said her grandson had been attacked twice in the area, and said stones are thrown at buses as 'there's nothing for the kids to do'.

The issue is said to be particularly bad where 'big groups gather around the Co-op'.

She added: "We don't really go out at night and would use a taxi if we did. It's not nice for the drivers or the passengers."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Another resident, Keith Pettman, said he did not use buses but that he was aware there are 'some youths on the estate that are a little rowdy'.

He described the teenagers 'mess[ing] about with bikes' and getting 'in the way of buses and people', while vandals have been known to 'smash a few things up every so often', rip up a nearby field and set dustbins on fire.

In spite of the issues, however, Pettman said he feels safe in the area.

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police and Leeds City Council has assured any cases of anti-social behaviour will be thoroughly investigated, and that such behaviour 'will not be tolerated in Leeds'.

Credit: Leeds Live/MEN Media
Credit: Leeds Live/MEN Media

They said: "We work very closely through the Safer Leeds partnership to address all concerns around anti-social behaviour and wider crime issues in Leeds. Together we recognise that the real and genuine concerns raised by residents should not be dealt with by just one organisation.

"We are putting longer-term solutions in place to target issues that arise around crime and anti-social behaviour and are committed to doing everything we can to take robust action to bring those responsible for it to justice, reassure the community and deter those involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.

“We would ask anyone who is experiencing anti-social behaviour to please contact the police or the council’s dedicated anti-social behaviour team as soon as possible."

Following the cancellation of the buses on Saturday, normal service resumed on Sunday, 6 March, when the estate appeared to be quiet.

Featured Image Credit: Leeds Live/MEN Media

Topics: UK News, Crime

Emily Brown
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