COUNCIL officers are to ask bus drivers to drive at no more than 20mph in York after hearing claims of aggressive bus handling.

The move, if successful, could encourage more people to leave the car at home, according to one passenger.

But First York, which provides most of the city’s bus services, says it is “surprised” the speed-cutting issue has been raised and says it has already taken measures to improve its drivers’ performance.

The controversy comes as the executive member for city strategy Coun Steve Galloway considers proposals to impose 20mph speed limits on all traffic in some residential streets in the city.

Dee Bush, a Beckfield Lane resident, claimed she had been on buses where passengers had been knocked about during their journey.

“They (the drivers) have been aggressively accelerating and braking, resulting in the passengers being left flying about,” said Ms Bush.

“If we are serious about reducing traffic congestion, a 20mph regime could be the way to encourage people to use the buses.”

Coun Galloway pledged that council officers would suggest the speed limit proposal to the bus company at their regular meetings with First York.

But he said: “I suspect the bus drivers will be only too delighted to get up to 20mph on certain parts of the network.”

Bill Woolley, director of city strategy, said the council would tell the bus company about the claims of aggressive bus driving Ms Bush registered to speak “on behalf of the elderly” on proposals for a set of criteria to decide whether roads in York should have a 20mph limit at a city strategy executive member decision meeting at the Guildhall.

Check is kept on standards

BUS drivers in York are already being kept in check by state-of-the-art equipment, the city’s main operator said.

A spokesman for First said he was “surprised” the council was discussing a speed restriction. He said: “Our fleet of more than 100 buses in York have been installed with DriveGreen, a revolutionary new piece of equipment, much like a miniature traffic light, which immediately shows drivers if they have made an unnecessary driving manoeuvre. More importantly, this data is then sent back to base to allow the driver and their managers to ‘score’ a journey and therefore make improvements to driving.

“Early indications are that our drivers have been improving in York.”

He said fuel was also being saved and said First would hold more talks with the council about driving standards.