Pudsey residents voiced their anger about recent changes to the town’s bus services at a packed public meeting.
Dozens of residents packed into Cafe Lux in Pudsey town centre to express concern over changes to the timetable which have left some needing to catch as many as ‘three or four’ buses to get into Bradford on an evening.
There were complaints about the reliability of the number 4 and X11 services into Leeds. One mother claimed her son had lost his job because of unreliable services.
There were also complaints about the X14 service, which has been replaced by a route which diverts through Bramley Shopping Centre and the Raynvilles.
Residents said the changes significantly increased journey times from around 40 minutes to around 55 minutes.
A commuter, who lives in Fartown, added her concerns about the lack of an early morning X14 which left her struggling to get into work. She added:
“I am a mum, I pay my taxes, I pay my national insurance and I pay my bus fares. The service is disgusting.”
The meeting led to some heated comments from frustrated bus users who were concerned about what they claimed was a lack of action from bus company First.
One resident said:
“The number 4 has rapidly deteriorated, especially at peak times coming home from Leeds. They often don’t turn up and it’s standing room only if they do. It seems to me there are not enough buses at that time.”
Paul Turner represented bus company First, but struggled to make his points without being interrupted from the floor.
He said two early X14 buses, including one at 6.40am, would be put on from October 31 but would look to see if any earlier ones might be able to run.
On the number 4 bus he added:
“We have been struggling for staff in the past couple of months. It takes time to recruit and train drivers, so we are a bit behind and routes like the 4 can suffer. I can only apologise and raise the issues with control.”
Mr Turner pledged to look at all the issues raised at the meeting.
Neil Wallace, from West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), also attended the meeting. WYCA financially supports non-commercially viable bus routes.
Mr Wallace said he would return on future dates to hold drop-in sessions with people who had specific individual concerns over buses.
The meeting was chaired by Cllr Josie Jarosz (Lab, Pudsey).