Time for a change on Leeds’s bus services

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A TIMETABLES shake-up is just around the corner for bus users in Leeds.

The schedules of dozens of services in the city and the rest of West Yorkshire are being revised, with the new times kicking in this Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Bus bosses say many of the changes are designed to improve “reliability and punctuality”.

Services whose running times are being altered in Leeds include:

* 7 (Leeds-Primley Park), 7A (Leeds-Alwoodley), 7S (Leeds-Shadwell);

* 56 (Whinmoor-Cross Gates-Leeds-Moor Grange);

* 85, 85A and 87 (Morley-Middleton-Leeds-Bramley);

* 117 (Wakefield-Ossett-Tingley-Leeds);

Another change will see the reintroduction of a direct 965 service link between Otley and Wharfedale Hospital. It will run every hour during the daytime and every half-hour in the morning and evening peaks.

From Sunday, passengers catching the number 51 or 52 (Moor Allerton-Leeds-Morley-Tingley Mills) will be able to ask their driver to divert to Leeds’s Elland Road park-and-ride site on journeys leaving Vicar Lane between 7.07pm and 8.57pm Monday to Saturday.

Bus chiefs in West Yorkshire have in the past faced criticism over confusing timetable changes.

Plans currently being considered for a public sector-led shake-up of the way the industry operates in the county would mean a significant reduction in the number of changes that could be made each year.

The so-called “quality contracts” scheme would also see control of matters such as fares taken out of the hands of profit-driven private operators.

* For full timetable details, visit www.wymetro.com or ring MetroLine on 0113 245 7676. Service information is also available on Twitter from @MetroTravelNews

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Around 180 million bus journeys were made in Leeds in 2011-12, compared to 235 million in 1995-96.

The biggest bus firm in Leeds, First, introduced a round of fare rises earlier this month. The company hiked its ticket prices across the county by an average of 2.8 per cent.

First’s decision was described as “disappointing” by Coun James Lewis, chair of the transport committee on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Bosses at First recently announced that an additional 100,000 people each week in West Yorkshire were using their services compared to 12 months previously.