These Leeds bus services are getting less frequent as of this weekend

Leeds' 'transport crisis' shows no sign of improving as it emerged First Bus are cutting services from several routes across the city this weekend.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 6:00 am
A First bus on the Headrow.

Bus users have been left furious about planned reductions to the 33 and 34 between Leeds and Otley

It comes as the city has endured weeks of gridlock thanks to a mixture of roadworks, lights failures and accidents on the roads.

Matt Birkby slammed First Bus for reducing the services from an average of three to two per hours as 'ridiculous'.

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Leeds Bus Station.

He said it constituted a 'transport crisis' for the city, and has created a petition calling on First to 'retain and improve' the services, which has been signed by almost 800 people.

The 40 to Seacroft is also being reduced from an average of six to five services an hour.

Transport campaigner Stuart Long said: "If First Bus are to reduce frequency across the city of buses then they must be asked to reduce fares on their services as they are failing to off the public transport."

The Yorkshire Evening Post has called on the city's transport chiefs to take action to stop the gridlock which seems to be taking hold of Leeds almost every day.

Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake has repeatedly called for Leeds' services to be brought back into public ownership to 'provide the service that the travelling public need and demand'.

First Bus said the changes were reflecting 'both customer demand and a revised timetable to improve punctuality'.

Their twitter account has been repeatedly issuing updates about major delays of up to two hours to its services due to congestion in Leeds over the past few weeks.

Mr Birkby said: "These services, providing commuters like me in Guiseley, Yeadon, Rawdon, Horsforth and Kirkstall are essential.

"To cut them without consultation is a disgrace.

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

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.

"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."

Commuter Simon Vickers said: "I wasn’t aware of this till now but I live along Kirkstall Road. Almost every morning and afternoon they are usually late and packed full.

"I’ve been getting Leeds buses for over a decade now and feel as though we keep getting less quality despite constant price increases."

Other changes to First Bus services

Changes to the 2, 3, 3A, 12, 13, 13A, 7, 7A, 7S, X7, 51/52, 91, X84/X85 are also being made to improve punctuality, but the frequency of buses will remain the same.

A new Monday to Saturday off-peak 26/27 service will be operating every 30 minutes from Thorpe Park to Halton Dial via Cross Gates and Halton.

A revised X26/X27 timetable will also be introduced. All journeys will terminate at Thorpe Park, and will no longer extend to Garforth. The Monday to Saturday off-peak frequency between Leeds City Centre and Thorpe Park will be every 30 minutes.

A revised timetable will be introduced on the 74, running every 20 minutes. All journeys will operate via Sharp House, but service 74A will be withdrawn. An hourly through link with service 75 at Middleton will be retained.

What First Bus say

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.

"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.”