Yorkshire teenager becomes UK's youngest bus driver aged 18

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, secured a role with regional operator Transdev after passing his bus licence exam on the first attempt in November.

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But despite the stress and responsibility of keeping people safe on the roads each day, Kraish says he’s loving “every single minute”.

Kraish Symes has become a bus driver aged just 18Kraish Symes has become a bus driver aged just 18
Kraish Symes has become a bus driver aged just 18

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 Otley after spending a few years working in retail.

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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.

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“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.”

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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.”

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