A hero bus driver has spoken out after he became an internet sensation for coming to the rescue of a distressed girl late for her first day at high school.
The driver of the number 16, Pudsey to Whinmoor, bus was hailed a hero online after he stopped his journey this morning (Tuesday) to call and pay for a taxi for the girl when it emerged she had been waiting at the wrong stop.
A Facebook post by one of his passengers about his actions quickly went viral - being 'liked' over 5,000 times and shared 1,300 times in a matter of hours.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the driver - who does not want to be identified - said he just did what he thought was right and was stunned by the reaction online.
“I’d do it again tomorrow. It’s someone’s daughter and her first day at big school. She would have been heartbroken if she was late. I’d like to think if my daughter was unsure of a route, someone would go the extra mile to help her out,” he said.
After the girl had become upset at missing her bus, at Bramley Shopping Centre, the driver asked his passengers for a taxi number and rang to arrange for her to be picked up at a nearby Tesco.
He then walked her to the store and gave her enough money for the fare, before returning to his bus.
He said: “Next thing I know, I’m back at the depot and I’m Facebook famous it seems. Someone showed me and said: ‘Is this you?’.”
The 44-year-old, who has been a bus driver for two-and-a-half years, said: “It’s nice that people have acknowledged that sometimes bus drivers do a bit of good, because we get a bit of unwanted flack for running a bit late or being grumpy.”
Bus passenger Lynsey Jayes, 33, who wrote the post which went viral, said: “It was just lovely to see, it certainly made everyone on the bus smile and he certainly brightened up a very wet and miserable morning.
“I took the photo and shared it on Facebook in the hope someone might recognise him and he would get the praise he deserves. He did it so modestly and without causing a fuss.
“It’s gone a bit crazy. My phone is buzzing constantly and everyone is just as impressed at his actions as I was."
Hundreds of comments have been left on Lynsey’s post by people rushing to praise the driver.
Elizabeth Tait wrote: “A true real gentleman not many like him respect to him."
Lesley Coles said: “What a lovely man, well done him” and Samuel Jones simply wrote: “What a true hero.”
A First West Yorkshire spokesman said: "We are delighted with the actions of our driver, who has shown exceptional customer awareness and consideration for this young girl, who was clearly very upset.
“First West Yorkshire is grateful to Lynsey Jayes for highlighting our driver’s actions and to the many customers and other members of the public for their kind comments.
“Customer care is an essential part of our drivers’ continuous development and our colleague has shown himself to be a great ambassador for this.”
He added that the driver will now be considered for a number of awards run by the First Bus Group.