North Leeds: All on board for a better service

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residents in a north Leeds suburb have revealed they sometimes feel isolated because of the lack of buses during weekends and evenings.

People living in the Alwoodley ward raised their concerns about local services at a meeting at Leeds Civic Hall.

Other key issues included late buses, some so late that they are missed out or cancelled; drivers with a bad attitude, and requests for more digital “live time” displays.

Alwoodley’s three ward councillors arranged for representatives of First UK Bus and the West Yorkshire 
Combined Authority (WYCA), as well as the council’s highways department, to attend 
the meeting to discuss the issues.

Councillor Dan Cohen (Con) said: “The meeting provided a valuable opportunity for residents to raise their concerns about local bus services and to hear directly from the people that make the key decisions.”

They heard it was too costly to add “live time” display to every bus stop but people could download a free app which will show the live times.

First said that because it delivers a commercial service it can’t risk running at a loss. So if it doesn’t think a service would be viable and create profit – such as late evening and Sunday services – it won’t run them.

WYCA said it would try to fund as many evening and weekend services as possible if First Bus couldn’t afford to.

The biggest problems for First Bus were identified as traffic congestion and unforeseen circumstances, which impact greatly on the service they try to provide. Highways said they could install laybys if there was suitable kerb space, enabling buses to pull right in when picking up passengers, so traffic can keep moving.

A spokesman for First UK Bus said: “We’re always keen to see how we can serve our communities better and we look forward to working with local Alwoodley councillors to further improve services.”