Price rise blow for Leeds CityBus users

ON THE ROAD: A CityBus on the day of the service's launch in 2006.

ON THE ROAD: A CityBus on the day of the service's launch in 2006.

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Transport bosses are set to double the cost of journeys on the ‘hop on, hop off’ Leeds CityBus service.

A flat fare of 50p has been in place since 2011 on the shuttle service, which connects key destinations in the city centre.

But now operator First Leeds has revealed the fare is rising to £1 from February 21. It is one of a number of changes the firm believes will support the “long term future” of the service. Others include:

* Swapping the current minibus-style vehicles for standard single deckers;

* Linking the service with the number 5 route that runs between Leeds and Halton Moor;

* Introducing twice-hourly services on Sundays;

* Tweaking the route between Albion Street and the bus station so it is more direct.

First Leeds’s Paul Turner said: “The CityBus continues to provide important links for customers across our city in Leeds and I’m pleased we’ve been able to introduce changes that will support the long term future of the service.

“We have continued to work closely with the [West Yorkshire Combined Authority] to ensure these important links remain.

“Back in 2011 we introduced a small charge following changes to funding support and we’ve now provided the CityBus service with a more sustainable future whilst improving capacity and increasing the days of operation.

“I’m sure our customers will welcome this news that the popular CityBus links remain in place and will offer even more travel opportunities.”

Passengers on the revamped service will be able to use the same passes and permits as they do now, including Mcards and FirstDay tickets.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority transport committee chair Coun Keith Wakefield said: “I am pleased to see that at the same time as making these changes, First is introducing Sunday journeys and vehicles with more seats and I look forward to the company’s ongoing commitment to running this popular city centre link.”

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