Councillors in Pudsey have welcomed changes to local bus services – but local residents have given a more mixed response.
Pudsey councillors Josie Jarosz, Richard Lewis and Mick Coulson say they are celebrating after First Leeds announced a series of changes, which The Dispatch reported on two weeks ago.
The changes follow a heated public meeting last September where bus users criticised First over timetable changes, reliability and the length of the journey into Leeds, among other issues.
The meeting, which was organised by the councillors, led to First holding a series of consultation meetings across the town in November and December to try tackle the problems.
The changes – which can be read in full here – include Fartown, Valley Road and Kent Road areas of Pudsey seeing the restoration of their express service during the peak hour and Pudsey will also get an evening and Sunday service to Bradford for the first time in more than a decade.
Other improvements include a more frequent service between Thornbury Barracks and Pudsey during normal shopping hours and adjustments to the number 11 timetable to reduce the waiting times where the bus is idling with passengers onboard. Changes come in on February 19.
Councillor Josie Jarosz (Labour, Pudsey) said:
“I’m very pleased that First has listened to the voice of reason and restored a relatively quick link between Pudsey and Leeds by putting on extra X14 journeys when people want to get to work.
“Ideally, we’d have preferred it to be all day, but it shows that people protesting can make a difference and we are pleased some progress has been made. We had two well-attended meetings where residents made the case for better services – and it’s worked!”
Councillor Richard Lewis (Labour, Pudsey) said:
“I never thought I’d say this, but First have come up with a good package of changes.
“I’m particularly pleased to get back a Bradford link in the evening. I think the X11 could get to be a very useful and quick service for Pudsey residents getting into the two city centres.”
But Pudsey residents have given a more mixed response.
A poll conducted by the West Leeds Dispatch earlier this month revealed just 4.7% of respondents said they were happy with First’s changes. 43.7% said the changes were not an improvment and 51.6% said it was an improvement but more still needed to be done.
There was also a mixed reaction on the Pudsey Born and Bred Facebook page and in the comments section of The Dispatch‘s article.
“Customers (we are customers many of which have no alternative but to use these inferior services) require a frequent and importantly a direct service from A to B without taking a magical mystery tour. As previous posters have said, it can take an age to get into Leeds centre from most of West Leeds. Other parts of Leeds, Cookridge comes to mind, have frequent direct services.”
Leonard McCoy said:
“Still a lot of work to do on this for me I am afraid – while frequency was an issue for some people (especially early in the morning) the tour around Stanningley and Bramley (as lovely as they are!) is unnecessary and adds unneeded time to some journeys. Hope the new times provide added reliability though.”
But Peter Dixon added:
“It’s a good set of steps. The buses are struggling with urban congestion. Rather than trying to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic ship that are the roads around Leeds, we need our councillors to ensure that west Leeds get the best deal possible out of the transport money so that our journeys are as quick and reliable as possible.”
What do you think? Have your say in the comments below.