We’re really going places – that was the message today from transport giant First as it revealed dozens of new buses are hitting the streets of Leeds.
First Leeds unveiled plans at the end of last year to invest £71m in a total of 284 ultra-low emission vehicles for the city by 2020.
And today it announced that it is more than a third of the way to meeting its target, with 47 of the buses being pressed into service already this year and a further 58 due to arrive by January.
The phased introduction of the new vehicles is a key element of Connecting Leeds, an initiative being managed by Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority with the aim of transforming travel in Yorkshire’s biggest city.
First Leeds managing director Paul Matthews said: “We are committed to reducing vehicle emissions to improve air quality in Leeds. Our new vehicles incorporate the latest features in bus travel, including next stop audio announcements, USB charging points and free wifi and it’s therefore important that we continue to work with our partners to promote the benefits of bus travel and encourage people to switch from travelling by car to bus.”
The vehicles introduced this year so far have been running on First’s LeedsCity and X26 routes and also serving the Elland Road and Temple Green park-and-ride sites.
Coun Richard Lewis, the council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “As part of our Connecting Leeds plans to transform transport in the city we welcome this much needed bus investment by First Leeds.
“Lots of work is already going on across the city and we’re continuing the transport conversation to enhance bus services to make bus travel faster, more efficient, reliable and cleaner.”