First Bus accused of 'short-cutting' services and missing out entire suburbs in north Leeds

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First Bus are coming under fire this week over divisionary routes drivers are taking amidst a host of roadworks in north Leeds.

Services are being delayed and diverted as a result of the 4-way lights at the Shaw Lane/St Anne’s Road junction on the A660 Headingley causing delay up to an hour’s delay. The key north Leeds route is undergoing a host of changes including a widening of footways and a prioritisation system for buses following a public consultation in January.

In a letter to the Yorkshire Evening Post, local man Martin Phillips, raised concerns over First Bus services missing entire chunks of the route in order to avoid the disruption altogether.

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He said: “Buses arriving at Holt Park on the No.8 route are supposed to return as a No.6 service. Due to delays caused by the pointless, never ending road works in Headingley the drivers are instead posting the destination as “Not in Service”.

It comes at the end of a turbulent period for First Bus. Picture: James HardistyIt comes at the end of a turbulent period for First Bus. Picture: James Hardisty
It comes at the end of a turbulent period for First Bus. Picture: James Hardisty

"They are then taking a short cut to Lawnswood where the bus becomes a No.6 service again having missed out all the stops in Cookridge, Tinshill and Otley Old Road. On Saturday passengers were waiting over an hour to catch a bus.”

It comes at the end of a turbulent period for First Bus. On Thursday, the company announced that the imminent threat of strike action had been averted after a 13 per cent pay rise was accepted by drivers, just days after the company announced changes to fares across West Yorkshire for the first time in 18 months.

A spokesperson for First Leeds said: “Heavy congestion and roadworks in Headingley have caused disruption to our number 8 and 6 services over recent weeks. These issues are outside our control and unfortunately, we have had to make cancellations at times to maintain the schedule which has affected the Holt Park area. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this has caused and will always try to avoid cancelling a service.

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“We understand the roadworks are to continue until mid-July and the Ashes Test at Headingley later this week is likely to create additional traffic. We will continue to monitor the network and manage road conditions as best we can.”

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