Hyde Park passengers plan Leeds bus station protest over 'discriminatory' changes to 56 service

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Disgruntled passengers are planning to stage a protest outside Leeds bus station after alterations were made to their local service.

Organisers say “discriminatory changes” to the First Leeds 56 route between Whinmoor and Moor Grange have made it harder for disabled and elderly people who live in Hyde Park.

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They are calling on others to join them outside the bus station at 6pm on Monday to demonstrate their anger and call for a return to the original route.

A Facebook event for the protest said there will be a “massive impact” on the local community now the 56 bus service no longer stops on Queen’s Road.

Organisers wrote: “It was changed without warning or any consultation to the residents. It will have a knock on effect on the local businesses like the Brudenell Social Club and Hyde Park Picture House.”

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A First West Yorkshire spokeswoman said: “We’re sorry to hear that customers of the 56 bus service are unhappy with the changes we have made to the service, but we’d like to reassure customers that these changes have only been made after careful consideration and all changes have been communicated on bus stops along the route and via the real time information screens.

“We have encountered regular issues on the 56 route due to parked cars at Hyde Park, which have made it increasingly difficult to turn right from Royal Park Road onto Queens Road, and crossing from Queens Road to Chestnut Avenue.

"This has led to delays due to buses getting stuck whilst attempting the turns, and as such a decision was made to change the route with vehicles going towards Moor Grange via Hyde Park Road and Victoria Road.”

She said the company was happy to review the route again in the future and to support initiatives to encourage drivers to leave the roads clear.

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