A teenager who has become the UK’s youngest bus driver aged just 18 says it’s the job “I’ve always wanted to do”.
Kraish Symes said he left a career as a store clerk to transport hundreds of people around the roads of West Yorkshire and has not “looked back since”.
The youngster, from Bradford West Yorks., secured a role with regional operator Transdev after passing his bus licence exam on the first attempt in November.
But despite the stress and responsibility of keeping people safe on the roads each day, Kraish says he’s loving “every single minute”.
He said: “Every day is different, and the best part of it is making someone’s day with a smile or a quick chat when they get on my bus.
“I’m enjoying every single minute.”
Kraish decided to become a bus driver in the Otley area of West Yorks. after spending a few years working in retail.
He said: “I’d worked in a discount store for almost two years when I decided to make this change into bus driving, and I’ve never looked back since.
“I enjoy driving, plus the customer service skills I learned behind the till are helping me now to look after people on my bus.
“I’m usually on the Otley Dash route – we’re the local bus in and around Otley and already I’m getting to know my regular customers every day.
Kraish said in particular he likes meeting local people.
He said: “The people I meet are all happy and friendly and I’m just glad to be here for them.
“This is the job I always wanted to do.”
Kraish was full of praise for his driving instructor Barry Dean after he became the UK youngest ever busman.
He said: “Barry is a brilliant instructor and has helped me make it to where I am today.
“I’d have qualified even sooner, but we had to wait three times longer than usual to get my licenses and test date set up through the DVSA.”
Kraish is now part of The Keighley Bus Company, part of the Transdev group, where General Manager Alan Isherwood is hoping more youngsters will follow in his footsteps.
Alan said: “There’s no better time than now to join us.
“Kraish did it – and so can you! Our drivers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and they all have one thing in common – they all care passionately about giving amazing customer service.”