Bosses at bus operators First Leeds have promised a more reliable and frequent service from Pudsey into Leeds City Centre as part of timetable changes next month.
A review of services by the bus operator will, they claim, lead to a simpler network of routes from May 16.
The review follows persistent complaints by passengers about the reliability of bus services in the Pudsey area over a number of years.
A new 4F service will leave every 10 minutes from Pudsey Bus Station to central Leeds and operate a circular via Chapeltown, Fartown and Robin Lane, where it replaces a section currently served the number 14.
This change also means a route between the bus station and Fartown/Fulneck will see frequency increased to every 20 minutes from the current 30 minutes operated by the 14 service.
The existing 4 service frequency also increases to 10 minutes including its circular from Pudsey Bus Station via Chapletown, Waterloo, and Highfield Green with the 4G link at Galloway Lane served instead by the X11 Bradford-Pudsey-Leeds.
Bus waiting times at Highfield Green will be significantly reduced, with First Leeds bossed hoping a more consistent timetable will avoid lengthy layovers. The move follows concerns from local residents.
Stuart Fillingham, Network & Schedules Manager at First West Yorkshire, said:
“We’ve looked carefully at how better road infrastructure to introduce bus priority can enable us to create an improved Pudsey network and connections into Leeds city centre. These changes will mean more buses and greater reliability in journey times which we think will be welcomed by everyone.”
In advance of the works on the A647 with the remodelling of the “Mike’s Carpets” junction in Armley, the 14 and 15 services swap routes from here.
The 14 is rerouted to serve Ledgard Way and Kirkstall Road towards Leeds city centre and will be extended to Logic Business Park in the east.
The 15 will be rerouted to serve Armley Road and Armley Gyratory to cover the 14 reroute and will terminate at Park Row.
As part of the network simplification, the X14 is replaced with the 14 service. From the 16 May this will provide a consistent timetable of journeys every 30 minutes. First Leeds will monitor loadings and consider adding additional journeys where needed, although double-decker buses will now be used consistently on the 14 service.
The X11 Bradford-Leeds service will continue to provide a more direct route from Pudsey Bus Station to the centre of Leeds.
Elsewhere, the 16 and 16A will remain unchanged with a frequency every 15 minutes.
Services to the Owlcotes Centre also remain unchanged.
Concerns about the replacement of the X14 service have been expressed on social media. User Douglas Tunnock, who boards the bus on Kent Road, has contacted WLD to express his concerns.
First Leeds say the 14 takes 48 minutes into Leeds and the X14 just three minutes less at 45 minutes. The most direct service between Pudsey centre and Leeds centre remains the X11 at 31 minutes. They also say the moves will simplify the network as well as address irregular gaps in the timetable.
But Mr Tunnock argues the early morning X14 journeys do not take 45 minutes to reach town, it’s nearer 20-25 minutes. He added: “The extended route of the 14 combined with the number of turns and a driver changeover make this a much longer and less comfortable experience; I have used both routes before at differing times and am well-placed to make this judgement.”
The changes have been agreed with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and full details with new timetables will be available on the First Leeds website from w/c 3 May 2021.
First Leeds will also be at the Pudsey Produce and Craft Market in Pudsey Market Place on 2 May from 9am to offer information and advice and answer any questions.
Calls for more regular, reliable and swift services in Pudsey aren’t a new thing.
As reported by WLD, they were first made at a public forum meeting in 2016, which was followed up later that year with a packed public meeting at Cafe Lux. A public consultation by First then followed, with a new timetable implemented in January 2017. The changes were met with a mixed response and there have been tweaks to the timetable since then.
In February, councillors on the Outer West Community Committee called for dramatic improvements to bus services as part of a city-wide strategy to help make luring people away from car usage a reality.
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