BUDDING bus drivers looking for a new career on the roads of York have been handed the chance to get behind the wheel.

Transdev, which operates University of York routes and the city's open-top bus rides, opened their doors in the hope of finding their newest recruits.

The intrepid applicants were invited to climb aboard a single-decker alongside an instructor, who gave them a chance to experience handling a bus before filling in an application form.

Ben Mansfield, Transdev business support manager, said the company was looking to recruit drivers with experience in customer service.

He said: "We want to try and bring some staff in focused around customer services rather than those with a driving background.

"Getting on a bus is a daunting prospect so we are giving them the opportunity to talk about what it's like to be a driver in a relaxed atmosphere.

"We've had an interesting variety of people come in, some who are interested in driving and we have been impressed with others whose priorities lie in customer service."

Some of the applicants were looking for a job, while others, like John Rhodes, from Leeman Road, York, was at the open day to fulfil his childhood ambition of driving a bus.

"My dream has come true," said the 64-year-old former railwayman.

"It was fantastic. I don't know what the appeal is but I've always fancied doing it.

"I wanted to have a go to see if I like it because I've never driven one before and now I'm thinking about applying."

Another man, Fiaz Shah, from Blackburn, set off from his home at 5.30am in search of a job as a driver.

He travelled across The Pennines on four Transdev buses before arriving at the Hospital Fields Road depot at 11am.

Mr Shah now faces taking the gruelling Initial Driver Certificate of Professional Competence - four modules of theory, hazard perception and a practical driving test - before he is able to pilot a bus with passengers.