Airport Bus Route Changes – Press Release

Metro has called the new routes ‘a compromise’.   Yeadon Centre will still be served but the 747 will no longer serve Kirk Lane, the A65 and Westfield, but will use Henshaw Lane.  The 737 will serve Kirk Lane, but miss out Queensway.  At a time when Leeds has a target to double bus passengers, taking services away from the 2 biggest housing estates in the area seems to be a serious mistake. Some people will have a much increased distance to walk.  Metro says that passengers from these estates will just have to walk another 10 minutes!   Not good if you have luggage for the airport, bags of shopping, are elderly, or it is dark or wet.   Not good if you work at the airport, travel to Bradford or Harrogate or Yeadon Centre.

We think these changes are ill-thought out, will inconvenience local people and lose passengers while chasing a vague aim of getting more passengers to use buses from Bradford to the Airport. There is already a perfectly good 30 minute service from Bradford Interchange using the 737 & 747.

What Are the Claimed Benefits?

The Airport say that a slightly shorter journey from Bradford on the 747 will attract bus passengers – but the journey only takes 30 mins now – and then you must wait at LBA for at least 2 hours for your flight.   How many people will now choose to use a bus if it is 5 mins quicker?   In any case most train users will use the 757 from Leeds. They have also failed to notice that the new 737 route will be less direct than now.   Most flights from LBA are very early in the morning or late in the day, so there won’t be any bus passengers for the airport for most of the day, when locals could be using these buses.

Bradford Council wants the bus to stop at Apperley Bridge Station, but that won’t attract any passengers as it is an hourly bus service.  We have not been told the reasons for this idea.   It is almost impossible to timetable an hourly service to connect with the train service to Leeds or Bradford – and it would actually take longer and cost much more than staying on the bus.

We think these changes make no sense, will lose passengers and are ill-thought out.    It is no surprise that fewer people are using our buses when such changes are made.  Unfortunately this means more cars, more congestion, slower journeys and more pollution.

The Losers:

Local people travelling to:

The Airport, Yeadon Centre, Bradford, Harrogate for work, shopping, surgeries.   People with mobility issues.

The Winners: NONE

Supposedly those going to the airport from Bradford and wanting to save 5 minutes journey time!   But not those using the 737!

Those catching a bus to Apperley Bridge Station and taking a train to Leeds or Bradford – even though it will take longer and cost more than using a bus for the whole journey!

The Changes Make No Sense

We have complained to Metro about the changes and also asked that they should be at least delayed because of the current Covid crisis with hardly any passengers using the airport.  We have received no response. Making these changes NOW seems inconsiderate and ridiculous.

It is also very disappointing that Leeds Bradford Airport have not considered the needs of local people, including their own employees when insisting on these changes. They claim to be good neighbours – not on this evidence!

Also worrying is that there are currently no timetables at bus stops, so how are passengers to know about the changes?

Another unhelpful change for those using public transport are current plans to remove all the bus stops in front of Leeds City Station so that those going to the Airport using the 757 Airport bus will have to walk to the Wellington Street bus stop – luggage and all!  What are Metro thinking of?