A BUS driver being held at knife-point during a robbery is certainly shocking - but, sadly, this was no isolated incident of trouble.

Buses in York have long been dogged by vandalism and violence. And it is usually the driver who has to face an unruly minority that makes life for ordinary, innocent people difficult or even dangerous.

This newspaper has covered many such attacks, from bricks being thrown at windscreens to a shotgun being fired through the window of a bus. The shotgun incident in March last year led to real fear among drivers after a bus window was shattered in Huntington.

Other incidents have included a driver being threatened with a screwdriver; and, on the Chapelfields estate, Acomb, the smashing of a bus windscreen which eventually led to the culprit being jailed for four months.

The Chapelfields estate has a troubled history with buses and attacks have previously forced First to suspend its late-night service. So it was gloomily predictable that the latest incident should occur there. A bus driver was robbed by two teenagers, one armed with a knife, as he drove through the estate on Saturday night.

Once again, the vulnerability of bus drivers has been exposed by yet another attack. Progress has been made in the protection of drivers, including the installation of security cameras; it is possible that the perpetrator of Saturday's attack was caught on such a camera.

Yet drivers still remain in the front-line against criminally-minded yobs who persecute the buses - and, in doing so, disrupt life for ordinary people who have to find alternative means of travel when buses are stopped or services suspended.

These yobs need to be found and convicted so everyone else can get on with their lives.

Updated: 10:28 Monday, May 19, 2003