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Leeds: Bus firm’s new urban ticketing is criticised

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A leading bus firm’s new Urban Ticket has been branded “a cynical move”, after residents in some Leeds suburbs were left out of the money-saving deal.

Rothwell residents are among those to lose out on cheaper fares through Arriva’s new ticket, which entitles only residents on routes from Morley to Garforth to reduced bus ticket prices.

Arriva claims that the new “urban zones” covered by the new ticket followed a review of passenger numbers in those areas, while hinting that the service could be extended to new places in Leeds.

Coun Stewart Golton (Lib Dem, Rothwell) feels residents in areas such as East Ardsley, Swillington and Woodlesford as well as in places north of the city centre are being unfairly treated and is calling on Arriva to have a rethink.

He said: “The places they have left out of the scheme are ones where they are the sole provider of direct routes to the city centre, like Rothwell, so residents are forced to put up with higher fares or get in their cars.

“It is a cynical move by Arriva to grab more of the market share.”

Coun Golton claims the cost of a weekly ticket for bus users from Rothwell to Leeds is £17.50 – the same price as for bus users going to Leeds from Barnsley – while it is £3.50 cheaper for residents living in Garforth to travel through the new Urban Ticket, despite the town being more than a mile further away from the city centre than the south Leeds suburb.

Nigel Featham, regional managing director for Arriva Yorkshire, said: “We always strive to provide good value for money for our customers and in January we were able to introduce cheaper tickets to people travelling within our new urban zones.

“We were able to do this following a review of the number of passengers travelling in these areas and as more people are encouraged to make savings and choose the bus, we may be able to extend certain boundaries.”

For further information visit www.arrivabus.co.uk/Leeds-urban.aspx

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