'A transport crisis': Leeds resident slams First Bus plans to cut services from this weekend as 'ridiculous'

A Leeds resident has slammed First Bus for planning to reduce services in Leeds from December 8 - branding the move 'ridiculous'.

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 6:00 am

Matt Birkby said plans to cut the 33 and 34 bus services along the A65 constituted a 'transport crisis' for the city.

He said many who rely on the services to commute to work have been left 'dismayed'.

However, First Bus said the changes to the services from an average of three an hour to two an hour will 'better reflect customer demand'.

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Leeds bus services are due to be cut.

Matt, speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, said: "These services, providing commuters like me in Guiseley, Yeadon, Rawdon, Horsforth and Kirkstall are essential.

"To cut them without consultation is a disgrace.

"There are plans to build thousands of new homes in Aireborough, Horsforth, Kirkstall and further along the A65.

"Every one of these developments mention improvements to Horsforth roundabout and improvements to public transport.

"They do not mention a reduction in bus services.

"These services are already subject to severe delays and cancellations, particularly in evening rush hour, resulting in cancellations and long waits.

"Then there is the added frustration of daily 15 minute queues at Horsforth roundabout."

Matt said the A65 which the bus services use is one of 'the most polluted and congested' roads in the city.

He added: "This is ridiculous on the busiest, most congested and polluted road in the city.

"Most people on the bus this morning didn't even seem to know this was happening.

"There's no warning or consultation, presumably because they are cutting the service.

"Some days it can take 1 hour 45 minutes to get to Guiseley from Kirkstall, a journey that should take 35 minutes.

"Leeds has a massive transport crisis."

A total of 57 services across West Yorkshire are due to be amended as of December 8.

Martin Hirst, Commercial Director for First West Yorkshire, said: “We monitor and review the bus network on an ongoing basis to make best use of resources to meet customer demand and to improve service punctuality.

“From December 8 we are revising the 33/34 in the Guiseley / Otley area to better reflect customer demand.

"The revised 34 daytime service will mean 2 buses per hour between Otley and Leeds and 2 buses per hour between Yeadon and Leeds.

"The daytime service 33 will provide 2 buses per hour between Guiseley and Leeds.

"As part of this review of frequency, we have also revised the timetable to improve journey punctuality to help tackle congestion.

“We will continue to provide a common daytime frequency of 6 buses per hour between Leeds and Rawdon Crossroads.

“We will monitor changes and customer comments as part of our service review.”

Matt has now launched a petition to protest at the cuts to the services.

The petition has received more than 500 signatures so far.