Friday, July 1, 2022
HomeNewsResident calls for Spen Lane bus link to be restored

Resident calls for Spen Lane bus link to be restored

Transport has long been an issue across West Leeds, with full train carriages and congested roads causing mayhem for commuters – now a Kirkstall resident is trying to make some positive change happen! writes Keely Bannister.

Gary Howard, a 63-year-old, semi retired gentleman who lives on Spen Lane, is fighting to get a bus service returned to the bottom section of Spen Lane and Spen Approach.

Currently the nearest bus stops to the lower section of Spen Lane are on Vesper Road and Queenswood Drive, both Mr Howard says are “some distance for elderly people to walk to and back from” as well as adding that Spen Lane is a very steep hill to walk up if your not able to walk far.

Mr Howard told The Dispatch about the issues his elderly mother faces, saying:

“I am a full-time carer for my Mother who is 85. She finds it almost impossible to get to the shops at the junction of Spen Lane and Butcher Hill and to the local doctors surgery on Butcher Hill or Norman Street Surgery. She has to get the doctor to pay her a home visit when she is ill.”

Mr Howard stated that it wasn’t just his mother who struggled. He added:

“There are a number of elderly residents, like my Mother, who have voiced their concerns over the lack of public transport available. They have to use taxis if they need access to the Co-Op ,Chemists and Doctors in the area.”

To address this issue, Mr Howard would like to ask Metro and bus operator FirstBus if it would be possible to divert some of the existing 50A service to Spen Lane from Morris Lane/Vesper Road. 

He told The Dispatch:

“I would like to ask Metro if it would be possible to perhaps divert some of the existing 50A service to Spen Lane from Morris Lane/Vesper Road. 

“There are two buses (the 50 and 50A) which serve Morris Lane/Vesper Road every 10 minutes in both directions to Horsforth and Leeds centre so it seems unfair that residents living in the lower area of Spen Lane are penalised by having none at all . 

“I see no difficulty in re-routing several 50A buses .The service can then rejoin the existing 50/50A service on Butcher Hill/Broadway, LS5 to Horsforth and Leeds centre.”

Mr Howard brought the idea of rerouting the 50/50A bus service up at October’s Gyll Road Triangle Association resident meeting and says he had a very positive response:

“When I brought this matter up at the meeting it was greeted with a fantastic response.

“There was a service, No 73 later No 63, that used to run on Spen Lane but this was taken off several years ago. Many residents young and old seem to be in favour of a bus service being reinstated in the future.

“[Green Party election candidate] Victoria Smith has been collecting signatures on a petition locally and the response was fantastic.

“John Illingworth, the local Kirkstall Labour councillor, is aware of the problem and looking into the matter.”

Mr Howard also stated that such a service would help boost trade at local shops in the area and Horsforth. He added:

“I have lived on Spen Lane for over 25 years. Apart from the bus issues, I think this is a very good place to live but it is let down by this public transport problem.”

There is currently no online petition available on this issue, but Mr Howard has said he is happy for anyone to contact him via his email (dragon6@ntlworld.com) or his address (86 Spen Lane, Leeds, LS6 3NA) and he will relay anything raised by local residents at the next residents meeting.

A FirstBus spokesperson acknowledged Mr Howard’s suggestion. He said:

“We’re always pleased to hear feedback from customers on how we can improve services across Leeds.

“Route suggestions need to take into account journey time impact, customer demand and, of course, safe access which in this case may be a challenge on the narrow Spen Approach.

“This suggestion has been passed to our commercial team for consideration as part of any future network review.”

West Leeds Dispatch has also contacted Metro for comment.

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