This community engagement project, which began in March 2021, aims to encourage ‘blue sky’ thinking about how the bus services in Leeds could be improved upon.
Through surveys, discussion groups, an interactive map and a competition of ideas, the people of Leeds have spoken.
Residents concluded that they want more reliable city bus services which are both 'frequent' and 'affordabke'.
“All too often, reports such as these are seen as box ticking exercises, but by asking residents directly what they want, we have identified what needs to change to deliver the sort of bus service that will encourage people to choose a mode of transport that is much more environmentally sustainable than many of the alternatives.” said, Leeds Civic Trust Director, Martin Hamilton.
The Trust is now working with organisations across the city to identify practical ways of converting these aspirations into practical improvements in the short term.
Meanwhile they will continue campaigning for the bus service to be brought under public control, following the lead of other cities such as Manchester.
Project coordinator Gwen Thomas said: “Having lived in Leeds for 3 years now without a car, I’ve experienced first-hand having a bus which has never turned up, and I’ve had to navigate the complicated ticketing system myself.
"But speaking to members of the community who are affected the most by our under-performing bus service has opened my eyes to how it needs to be improved, as soon as possible. Leeds shouldn’t settle for a poor bus service, when it deserves an excellent one.”
In keeping with the city's green initiative the public consultation found the Leeds public are keen for their bus services to also be 'eco-friendly' and 'accessible for all'.
Matthew Topham, Campaigner at Better Buses for West Yorkshire said:
“This fantastic project has shown that local people are demanding their fair share: we want a network that is affordable, reliable, frequent and door-to-door – just like London.
"The report’s conclusion is a natural one, calling on local leaders to ensure that Leeds residents are at the heart of decisions on fares, timetables, routes, and standards."
The Trust are now calling on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to continue its work towards improving local bus and transport links.
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