‘Plenty of people are close to losing jobs’ owing to unreliable Leeds bus services

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Frustrated bus passengers in Leeds have spoken out over unreliable services as the YEP continues its series of articles about the problems commuters are facing.

Hundreds of people have told us how issues with operators First West Yorkshire and Arriva – including delays, no-shows and long journeys – have affected their lives.

It comes after Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake revealed that people had told her they were sacked from their jobs because buses had failed to get them in on time.

Diane Wilson, 60, said that her experience commuting across the city has led her to make around 12 formal complaints within the last five months.

She said: “I get the 42 from Harehills to Leeds and connect on the 49 to Bramley.

“They are both absolutely useless and I’m constantly late for work.”

She said that for a 2pm start she used to get the first bus at 12.50pm and get to work in good time, but has been forced to set off 20 minutes earlier.

And buses not showing up after her late shifts has meant she has been left to wait in the dark at Bramley Shopping Centre.

“I’ve had to ring taxis at quarter to 11 because I’m just stood there,” she said.

Katy Alexandra also uses the 42 service.

She said: “Every morning without fail up to three buses can miss [us], leaving up to 20 people sometimes stood at each bus stop.

“The buses then turn up two at a time one behind the other, although the one behind never stops to let more passengers on, it just speeds off. Plenty of people are left late for work, and close to losing their jobs.”

And Joanna Wilk said: “The buses are so unreliable that I use taxi to commute to work.

“Not even much more expensive but at least I get to work comfortably and on time.”

Operators said they are investing in services, review them regularly are organising consultation events for users.

Wednesday’s YEP will include responses from bosses at both Arriva and First to questions put forward by our readers on their services.

As the saying goes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Writing as a commuter in Leeds, it often feels like there’s just as much chance of a bus turning up on time – but never when I need it.

Day after day, I’m left waiting for another late service which, once arrived, often drip with condensation because passengers are packed in so tight.

This has occurred continually for years while living in areas all over the city, using services such as the 1, 33, 49 and 50.

Peak times are rough, but late evening services have frequently failed to show up too, prompting a last-dash run across the city to catch a train.

Combined with repeated price hikes, it’s a recipe for daily commuter misery.

Practical concerns about getting to work on time, making an important appointment or keeping social plans are frustrating enough.

But just being stood at the stop and not knowing when your next lift is coming is itself another source of regular stress people could do without in their busy, modern lives.

Gareth Harris of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

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