I really do believe that partnership is the best way to deliver improvements to bus services in West Yorkshire – the best solution for our customers, our people, councillors and MPs, and Metro as well as for bus operators.
It’s right that councillors and Metro (the Passenger Transport Executive) look closely at the best solution to improve bus services for the people of West Yorkshire.
As reported by the YEP this week, I’m pleased that the meeting of councillors on the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority on June 28 have agreed to work with bus operators to develop the partnership approach further.
As the head of First in West Yorkshire I am the first to admit that we haven’t always got things right.
We know the only way to build a long term future for our business and grow bus passengers is to change.
Change the way we develop our networks through consultation and greater stability, change the way we work together with our partners to improve bus reliability and change the way we price our tickets and offer new products – all underpinned by a new customer charter.
In Sheffield and Manchester we’re starting to grow passenger numbers by working closely in partnership with the local authorities and the Passenger Transport Executives and have introduced many initiatives including price cuts of up to 30 per cent.
Across West Yorkshire we are changing too and are investing to make sustained improvements to our services.
Initiatives we’ve introduced include new and better buses across West Yorkshire, the new Hyperlink service between Leeds and Bradford with free Wi-Fi, price reductions including the £1 Headingley corridor ticket, and reduced weekly tickets in Halifax and Bradford.
And we are carrying more passengers each week – compared with this time last year numbers are up by over four per cent across our West Yorkshire bus services.
This is fantastic news and we now want to take the next steps into a partnership to enable us to accelerate these improvements and play our part in delivering world class transport across the region.
Dave Alexander, regional managing director, First UK Bus (North Region)