Leeds MP demands ‘urgent improvements’ with 20 questions for transport chiefs

Rachel Reeves.
Rachel Reeves.
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A Leeds MP is pressing for urgent improvements to bus and rail services in the city after hundreds of people revealed their travel woes in a survey carried out by the politician.

Rachel Reeves has drafted 20 questions for the top brass of West Yorkshire Combined Authority, First Bus and Arriva Rail North to answer.

More than 500 people responded to the Labour MP for Leeds West’s survey and called for a raft of changes to the way transport is run.

Ms Reeves said: “I am now pressing for meetings with local transport firms at the earliest possible opportunity to deliver the urgent improvements that my constituents want to see.”

She added: “I hope they will all take a long look at the 20 questions drawn up following my survey and come up with answers for my constituents.”

Seventy-two per cent of respondents said that reliability was an issue for them with bus travel in the city, with 50 per cent wanting to see real time updates about their services.

The number and the quality of train carriages travelling to and from Bramley, Burley Park and Headingley stations was another major bugbear for constituents.

Paul Barnfield, regional director at Northern (Arriva Rail North), said: “We welcome the opportunity to discuss what this means for Rachel Reeves and her constituents and plan to meet with her shortly.”

A spokesperson for the bus firm said: “First Leeds welcomes all feedback and are due to meet Rachel Reeves in September to discuss the results of this survey.”

West Yorkshire Combined Authority has been contacted for comment.

The full list of 20 questions are below:

West Yorkshire Combined Authority:

1. What plans are there to roll out the MCard in the three places in Leeds West that need interchangeable tickets - Rodley, Wortley along Whitehall Road and New Farnley?

2. With 50% of survey respondents asking for real-time updates to be improved at bus stops, can Metro speed up the roll-out of planned improvements at Leeds West bus stops with high passenger numbers?

3. What progress has been made on installing more lighting and parking at Bramley train station?

4. Will WYCA review their decision not to build a train station in Armley?

5. Will WYCA have a role in ensuring the Department for Transport delivers on time promised improvements to access Leeds-bound platforms at Headingley station?

6. Will you help us to press Arriva Rail North for improvements we have outlined in the survey?

7. Will you help us to lobby First for the improvements we have outlined in the survey?

First:

8. Will you prioritise making urgent improvements to the most commented bus routes from our survey like 72, 16, 4, 42 and 50?

9. Will you consider upgrading your existing buses to install wifi and easier-to-clean seats?

10. What are your plans to improve reliability and how often to do you review performance when it comes to reliability?

11. Would you consider starting the reduced evening service in Leeds an hour later on weekdays at 7pm?

12. What changes are being made to deal with concerns about the cleanliness of buses in Leeds West?

13. Does your company state it in contractual terms with employees that there is an expectation for cash floats to be provided by drivers themselves?

Arriva Rail North (Northern):

14. Will you commit to installing a ticket machine at Bramley station. If so, when will this happen?

15. Will you speed up the rolling out of more ticket machines at Burley Park and Headingley stations?

16. Will you commit to installing shelters to provide passengers with better protection from the weather at Bramley and Headingley stations?

17. Will you provide more frequent services at Kirkstall Forge station from December 2017?

18. Will you confirm that the already planned and publicised frequency improvements to the Harrogate Line will be delivered on time?

19. Will you confirm that the planned and publicised delivery of new rolling stock for Rail North lines will be delivered on time?

20. Will commit to exploring the possibility of additional services to serve Bramley station in the timetable review for May 2018?

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