Familiar bus name rides again in Leeds

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The biggest bus operator in Leeds has sent one of its double-deckers on an eye-catching trip back in time.

First has repainted the modern low-floor vehicle in the green and cream livery of the old Yorkshire Rider brand to mark the 20th anniversary of the year it was last seen on the county’s streets.

The bus, which will now operate on routes across Leeds, has also been named in memory of city transport historian Brian Parkin, who died in January aged 81.

Brian’s son, Andy, said: “He would have been honoured to see this traditional livery on a modern, low-floor bus and we’re all very proud to celebrate his life and his passion for transport in Leeds.”

The paint job on the Volvo double-decker was carried out by the team at the Hunslet Park bus depot in Leeds.

Chris Powell, First’s operations manager at the site, said: “It’s important we recognise the great tradition of our bus industry as well as introducing the fantastic new benefits for customers such as mobile ticketing and low-emission buses.

“We’re also privileged to name the bus in memory of Brian who was a well-known figure in transport in Leeds.”

Brian was involved with the Leeds and District Transport News – later Metro Transport News – from 1958 to 2014.

Yorkshire Rider bus services launched in 1986 and, following a management buy-out in 1988, the firm purchased West Yorkshire Road Car in 1989 and a number of York bus companies in 1990.

It was bought by Badgerline in 1994 and was subsequently part of a merger with Grampian Transport in 1995 that formed FirstBus.