Here's what you had to say about the consequences of unreliable bus services in Leeds

Dozens of bus users across the city have reacted to the council's revelation that late and cancelled buses are affecting the livelihood's of regular commuters.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 5:00 pm
Passengers react to reports that unreliable buses are affecting day to day life.

Readers have shared their own experiences about how the public transport system across the city has affected jobs and childcare arrangements as passengers face delays, cancellations and services that just don't turn up.

The extent of passenger woe, revealed as part of the Yorkshire Evening Post's inequality series, A City Divided, has led to Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to come up with a series of projects and schemes to transform bus travel in Leeds over the next few years with projects ranging from extending the numbers of park and ride spaces to making it possible to pay fares via contactless.

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Passengers react to reports that unreliable buses are affecting day to day life.

Laura Elizabeth Louise Bailey said she had lost her job as a temp and almost lost her childcare arrangements too while many more bus users leave home two hours before they start work for what is usually a 10 to 15 minute journey by car.

Holly Thackeray added: "I find it better to do a 40 minute walk to the city centre during the day but I don’t much fancy that at night. Sometimes a First bus is only a few minutes away but then is suddenly cancelled or mysteriously disappears completely. Services from the city centre to north Leeds after 7pm are also very unreliable and infrequent.

"And I find it totally bizarre that there is only one bus an hour (if you are lucky - and not at times useful to students or commuters) from Chapel Allerton (a big hub in north Leeds) to Headingley (a big hub in north Leeds) - and none to Hyde Park (unless I am mistaken?). I just used to walk for an hour instead of going into town and then back out again and getting two buses (which was great in spring/summer but not when there was ice or a blizzard, or in the dark)."

Andrew Armer said more and more employers were looking for people with their own transport: "See so many job adverts that want people to be able to drive and have a reliable vehicle. Even when it's not a driving job."

However, there was praise for drivers who often take the brunt of passenger frustrations.

Daniela De Moura said: "I have to set off two hours earlier than I start just to get to work on time. And yet I can still be late is just ridiculous. (My work place is 30 minutes away from me via car). I wouldn’t blame the bus drivers personally, it’s management."

Lees James Cross said: "I understand the fare system needs looking at but that isn't down to the drivers neither is the reliability of the bus timetable. The drivers drive the bus and keep to time best they can."

What do bus companies say?

An Arriva Spokesperson said: "Arriva Yorkshire is actively involved in the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance, which is made up of the Combined Authority and local bus operators. As part of the Bus Alliance we’re working together to ensure we provide a reliable and efficient service for bus travellers of West Yorkshire.

"There is a continual focus to improve our bus network locally in order to provide an affordable, attractive alternative to traveling by car, in order to cut congestion on Yorkshire’s roads and lessen the impact that heavy traffic levels have on our air quality locally.

"To do this we strive to ensure that our customers are given access to transport that meets their growing expectations in terms of technology and comfort, but that also delivers with regards to environmental standards."

Martin Hirst, Commercial Director for First West Yorkshire added: "We welcome feedback from our customers to help identify network and fare opportunities and work with organisations such as West Yorkshire Combined Authority to optimise the network and tackle congestion to improve connectivity, speed up journey times and support economic growth. Feedback such as this will contribute to a strategic review of the bus network being undertaken by the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance made up of the Combined Authority and bus operators.