Leeds: Consultation events on future of buses

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Two events will be held in Leeds as part of a major consultation on the future of buses in West Yorkshire.

This will give the public the chance to learn more about the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s proposals for bus reform, explain how they can have their say on how buses should be run and ask questions to the project team.

Two 90-minute sessions will be held in Leeds Central Library on December 4, 2023 – at 2pm – 3.30pm and 5.30pm – 7pm.

A series of drop-in events have already taken place across the region, along with an online webinar.

Simon Warburton, Executive Director of Transport at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “This is a really important decision for West Yorkshire – so it’s vital that we hear the views of as many people as we can – both bus users and non-bus users.

“We’ve had a fantastic response to the consultation so far, and now people have a chance to come along, ask a question to the project team, and learn more about our proposals in person.”

The 12-week consultation, which closes on January 7 2024, asks people to have their say on how buses should be run in West Yorkshire.

Currently, buses are mainly run by private operators. A Combined Authority assessment, which has been reviewed by an independent auditor, has looked at the options for bus reform and concluded that Franchising would offer “clear strategic benefits”.

Bus Franchising would give the Combined Authority control over the routes, frequency, fares and overall standards of the region’s buses, and it would then contract bus operators to run these on its behalf.

The assessment also looked at the benefits of new partnerships with local bus operators, known as ‘enhanced partnership plus’.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation and a final decision by Mayor Tracy Brabin, the plans could result in bus services in West Yorkshire coming back under public control.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, said: “Buses play a crucial role in our city’s transport network, and it is important that we receive a service which meets the needs of our communities. By taking part in the consultation and having your say you can help shape the future of bus services in our city and the wider region.”

Following the consultation, the results will be published, and a final decision is expected to be made on the future of West Yorkshire’s buses in Spring 2024.

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1 COMMENT

  1. About time! The operators don’t care about maintaining a decent service level – not so much the delays – but many, many cancelled buses. If they offered decent pay and conditions, then they would attract the drivers to run the buses.

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