Bus travel in and around Leeds set for radical revamp in project worth £270m
A new bus network has been launched today which will help users navigate Leeds with ease - and with 18 lines running every 15 minutes.
The Leeds Core Bus Network, is part of the long term Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy and has come from West Yorkshire Combined Authority following a year of engagement and proposals where there was "overwhelming " support for new colour-coded bus lines and maps to help passenger navigation.
As a result, West Yorkshire Combined Authority is now transforming the look and feel of bus stop infrastructure on the core bus network in Leeds and coupled with user-friendly signage, 2,300 bus stops will be receiving a facelift.
New network maps, divided into zones, will include named and coloured bus lines to help people find which bus they need to take to get from A to B. They will be at most bus stops along the Core Network and available online, while the authority is now working with bus operators and journey planners like Google and Moovit to integrate the new lines into their apps.
The Core Bus Network is made up of 18 bus lines for services that run every 15 minutes or better, and, also includes bus services that provide direct express services from the city centre to key locations across Leeds.
The funding for the Leeds Core Bus Network project has been secured from Government as part of an overall allocation of £173.5m from the Department for Transport, plus local contributions topping this investment for transport improvements in Leeds up to £183.4m.
With match funding from local bus operating companies' investment in their fleet and other contributions this increases the overall funding package to £270m.
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire said: "Whoever you are, wherever you live and whatever the purpose of your journey, taking the bus needs to be efficient, cost effective and dare I say it, a pleasure.
"I am therefore fully behind the creation of the new Core Network and as set out in my manifesto, I am looking at how travelling by bus can be further improved and more attractive. My plan is to bring buses back under public control and build an integrated transport system.
"As I have said before, if this kind of system is good enough for London, it is good enough for West Yorkshire.”
"I am looking forward to taking the bus and I am particularly excited by the real-time information screens at bus stops. I think the new bus stop flags which show all the services that run from that stop will be well very welcomed by passengers. I think in addition to the practical benefits to understanding routes, there is also the advantage that passengers can plan better day trips and fun things with family and friends as meeting people and going to new places will be far easier to plan for bus users.”
In addition, the West Yorkshire Core Bus Network project, which has an allocation of £15.5m as part of the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF), will see improvements across the whole of West Yorkshire.
Communities across Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York are set to benefit from the schemes, which include new or improved bus and rail stations, cycling and walking infrastructure, and new Park and Rides.
It is estimated TCF schemes will improve journeys by bus, rail, bike and on foot for up to 1.5 million people, take up to 12 million car trips per year off our roads and reduce CO2 emissions from car travel by up to 15,000 tonnes by 2036.