Bus drivers walk over public safety

MORE than 50 bus drivers walked off the job on Thursday due to concerns with passenger safety.

Drivers say they are dealing with "impossible" timetable schedules approved by the state government and Busways.

A Penrith bus driver, who asked to remain anonymous, said the schedules were hard to maintain safely.

"There is not enough running time on those trips which makes it hard," the driver said.

"The S11 run, which goes from St Marys to St Clair shops via Oxley Park — usually you don't pick too many people there.

"But by the time you get to St Clair you are four to six minutes late because there is not enough time to do those runs.

"Some of us bus drivers aren't going to the toilet to stay on the run.

"Some instances you try and go faster to pick on time, some are getting in trouble for going through orange lights and there is not enough allocated bus spaces where they can have a proper break.

"All we want is a fair go."

Busways has refused to comment.

Transport Workers Union NSW sub- branch secretary Mick Pieri said more needed to be done before an accident happened.

"There aren't enough buses servicing the routes and the timetables are almost impossible to maintain at the best of times, let alone when there are road works or a traffic accident.

"This results in pressure on drivers to push the limits of safe driving and that's not on."

On May 15 a commission hearing will be at Fair Work Australia to discuss the bus running times, passenger and driver safety and new timetables.

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