Consultation over plans to tackle bus yobs
Bus passengers will be asked their views on tough new measures to tackle yobs who threaten and intimidate people on board.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street wants to give police more powers to take action against troublemakers on buses, amid fears people are being put off public transport because of the threat of abuse or harassment.
New byelaws are being considered which would apply on buses and at bus stops and stations in the West Midlands. They would give officers greater powers to deal with a range of issues including drunken behaviour, smoking or vaping, vandalising property, obstructing passengers, threatening behaviour and playing loud music.
Transport bosses will be asking people their views on the proposals at Black Country bus stations over the next few weeks.
Consultations will be held at Wolverhampton bus station on February 7, Dudley bus station on February 18, Walsall bus station on February 27 and West Bromwich bus station on March 13.
Mayor Mr Street said: “Research shows that anti-social behaviour can undermine feelings of safety and security for passengers and lead to a greater fear of crime. We know it also puts some people off travelling by bus.
“That is a real shame which is why these bus byelaws are part of our wider plans to tackle the problem. We know nuisance behaviour is something that many passengers feel strongly about so I would encourage people to take this opportunity to have their say and tell us what they think.
“No-one who travels by bus should have to put up with nuisance behaviour and we want to everything we can to stamp it out.”
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: “The safer people feel on public transport, the more likely they are to use it.
“West Midlands Police are committed to supporting the Safer Travel Partnership.
“Public safety on transport is a top priority of mine. I am pleased that these powers are now being consulted upon.”
If the bus byelaws are confirmed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) they would be the first in the UK. Similar measures are already in place on trains and trams in the West Midlands.