First: Leeds bus firm pledges change for good

Bosses at transport giant First have launched the latest stage of their 2011 charm offensive.

The bus operator faced criticism last year from passengers in Leeds over rising fares and timetable shake-ups.

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Last month, however, First pledged that its local ticket prices would NOT, as some people expected, be going up in the New Year.

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And now the firm has revealed details of a series of service changes in and around Leeds that it says will improve journey times and reliability.

Ian Humphreys, managing director for First in West and North Yorkshire, said the overhaul was in part based on feedback the company had

received from passengers.

He went on: "(These] are positive changes that will help us improve our bus journey times as well as our service reliability, which can be affected by traffic congestion in busy areas.

"This in turn will allow us to build on our recent announcement to freeze our fares in the area and look to grow the number of people travelling on our buses."

The revised schedules come into force from Sunday, January 30.

Services with new timetables include the number 9 (Seacroft-Horsforth), the 18/19/19A (Tinshill-Ireland Wood-Colton-Garforth) and the 98/99/X98 (Leeds-Wetherby-Deighton Bar).

Other services with changes to routes or timings include the number 40

(Pudsey-Leeds-Seacroft), the 85/87 (Bramley-Leeds-Morley) and the X35 (Leeds-Alwoodley Gates).

The number 66/67 (Leeds-Old Farnley-Bramley/Tyersal) and 80 (Farsley-Pudsey-Bramley) will be operated by Centrebus instead of First.

A spokesman for First stressed that, the 66/67 and 80 aside, the changes would not mean any reduction in overall service levels.

Resources were simply being used differently to ensure the greatest possible benefit for passengers, said the spokesman.

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