Does Leeds need a radical overhaul of its buses?

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A council watchdog which is looking into how bus services in Leeds could be improved is due to hear from operators of the region’s network today. (April 27)

As previously reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post, transport bosses have issued a rallying call for an overhaul of bus services in Leeds and West Yorkshire.

The calls are led by senior figures from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, who have thrown their renewed support behind new proposed franchising laws which they say would give our region a London style service, with Oyster-type ‘all-in-one’ ticketing, cheaper and simpler fares, better customer guarantees and a reversal of what they claim is decades of declining passenger numbers.

Today, Leeds City Council’s City Development scrutiny panel is due to hold the fourth of its inquiry sessions into bus services in Leeds.

A report being presented to the committee says the focus is “to explore the view of operators and operator representatives”.

The panel is expected top hear from the Association of Bus Operators in West Yorkshire (ABOWY), Tower Transit and HTC Group.

The report adds that the wide-ranging inquiry wants to “understand the current and future options for bus service provision in the city and consider what would be most beneficial for Leeds”.

The panel will ultimately come up with a list of recommendations on issues relating to the provision and connectivity of bus services in Leeds; how well they can and serve the needs of people and business; and the impact of bus services on social inclusion, poverty and the economy.

A previous inquiry session was told that at the moment, many key elements of the region’s bus services are “inadequate”.