Bus Cuts to Services 33 & 34 from 8th Dec. Press Release

Service 33 & Service 34 Cut to  30 mins frequency from Saturday 7th December.

Aireborough Civic Society is extremely disappointed that First Bus has decided to reduce the frequency of Service 33 to Guiseley and Service 34 to Otley from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes.   When a bus is cancelled (which happens quite frequently) that will mean waiting for a whole hour!  When the trolleybus scheme was cancelled we were promised frequent services until 8pm.

 Bus Service Cuts Next Week Make a Mockery of the Leeds Bus Partnership

The Leeds target to double bus passenger numbers between 2016 and 2026 cannot be achieved by such cuts. It is obvious that it will lead to even FEWER bus passengers and even MORE cars on our already congested roads.  The partnership of bus companies, Leeds C C and the Transport Authority is supposed to be working together to reduce congestion and pollution by improving public transport. It is clearly failing.  Car users may think this doesn’t affect them, but the more bus passengers who decide to ditch the bus, the worse all journeys become.   A full bus takes up to 64 cars off the road.   The effect in other areas such as Kirkstall and Burley with ever more commuter cars on local roads is unacceptable and the effect on emergency services is extremely worrying.

 Four years ago we were praising First for increasing bus services on these routes and two years ago we helped them publicise Service 19A continuing into Yeadon – but that was cut after just 2 months!  There is nothing to praise this time.

Off-Peak Bus Journey Times Still Compare Well with car or taxi.

Leeds to Yeadon

Depart Leeds 1010, arrive Yeadon 1050.  Journey time: 40 mins

Depart Leeds 1725, arrive Yeadon 1833. Journey time: 1 hr 8 mins, another 28 mins.

NB This is another 60% on to the normal journey time. On a train you would be half way to London by the time you arrive in Yeadon!

BUT CONGESTION is causing increased Journey Times At Peak Periods.  This is a Real Problem.

Journey times at peak periods take twice as long as at other times. This is often due to all the traffic, but congestion is not the same every day and on many days journeys could be quicker.   BUT unfortunately bus passengers do not benefit as the bus must keep to a timetable.   Therefore on quieter days the bus will arrive up to 10 minutes early and must wait at bus stops – ideally with the engine turned off (to reduce pollution), but also making the bus extremely cold!

This is why Aireborough Civic Society has argued for bus lanes where the road is wide enough for over 10 years – so that bus journeys do not keep increasing in time and passengers do not have to sit on a cold bus that has arrived early.    But nothing has happened.

A group has set up a petition about these cuts – do consider signing it.  Full details on the Aireborough Voice facebook site:  https://www.facebook.com/aireborough.voice/

More Houses, More Cars, More Pollution BUT Fewer Buses

In 2014 from Leeds to Yeadon

Depart Leeds 1725, arrive Yeadon 1818:  Journey time 53 mins

In 2019 from Leeds to Yeadon

Depart Leeds 1725, arrive Yeadon 1833: Journey time 1 hr 8 mins

In the past 5 years the bus journey time has increased by 15 minutes or over 25%.

 We all know that the A65 & A658 are extremely congested making journeys longer and slower.   Last year Aireborough Civic Society did pollution tests that showed these roads are well over legal pollution levels where traffic queues.   The council have declared a climate emergency, but are allowing yet more houses to be built here – and that means more cars.

We now again urge the council and bus companies to work with us to make bus transport more attractive and frequent and encourage car users to choose a greener way to travel.

Clive Woods, Chair of Aireborough Civic Society said, “Before cutting bus services First should be persuading Leeds City Council of the need to put in bus lanes on our congested roads.  Unfortunately we have no evidence that they are doing that.”

 New Monday – Friday Timetable from December 7th brings bad news for Bus Users At Peak Times:  e.g. Service 33:  bus at 1655, next bus is at 1740 – 45 minutes later (not even the claimed 30 minute service!)

Chairman Clive Woods said, “It does seem strange that politicians are considering spending millions on a road link from Rawdon to the Airport that will actually increase traffic in our area, rather than making improvements that would be far cheaper and would encourage more of us to use bus services, instead of driving.”