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.”


LAST CHANCE TO SAVE OUR GREENBELT: Meeting Guiseley Theatre 11am, Saturday 23rd November

 Come and hear about our Green Belt Challenge with a speaker from CPRE on their latest Green Belt Report – Space to Breathe – which shows that Local Authorities are releasing more Green Belt than ever, and then not supporting the building of the type of homes required in a locality. Which is the Aireborough experience too.
https://www.cpre.org.uk/…/green-…/item/5189-space-to-breathe. We’ll be talking about the Airborough experience specifically.

Local Councillors from Guiseley & Rawdon, and Yeadon & Otley wards will be there to answer questions.

With the General Election, we have invited all local prospective parliamentary candidates ( PPCs) in a short 5- 10min session to tell us their thoughts on future National Policy, but with things being quite hectic for them we are not sure how many will be be able to attend.

There will also be a fund raising stall to donate toward the first Permission Hearing, and Photographer Darren Sanderson will be taking names for a sponsored walk for anyone who’d like to help raise money.

The second hour is more a drop in session, and there will be refreshments offered from the new Theatre bar. We’d like to thank the Theatre for letting us use that area.

If you would like to donate to the appeal for funds for the Permission Hearing, but cannot make Saturday. Our appeal page is here on Local Giving. We are asking 4,000 households to donate at least £10 each. https://localgiving.org/appeal/greenbeltlegalfees/

MON. 25th November ACS Talk ‘Christmas At Sandringham & Balmoral’, 7.30pm at Rawdon Library

We welcome back: COLIN ALDERSON   Former Pastry Chef to the Queen

His talk Christmas with the Queen at Sandringham & Balmoral’     

Join Colin as he reminisces about Royal Christmas’s with the Royal Family.

After leaving Scarborough Technical College having qualified as a Chef, Colin obtained work locally in the Yorkshire Dales where his parents had a farm.  After a short time in the Army Catering at Catterick, he worked at Bolton Castle in Wensleydale. While at Bolton Castle he applied for a job as Chef to the Royal Household. When he was appointed to work at Buckingham Palace, this opened up a whole new world to the young chef from Yorkshire.

Colin Alderson who was the Queen’s official pastry chef for five years has cooked for many a royal occasion from banquets and parties for hundreds of people, to simple breakfasts for Queen Elizabeth 2nd herself. He has also seen how Christmas happens in the royal household, including Windsor House, Sandringham Palace and on board the Royal Yacht Britannia.

His last talk for us was extremely popular and we are really looking forward to this Christmas talk.   Hopefully we shall find out what the Royal Family have for their Christmas dinner and perhaps some of the presents exchanged!

  Admission:   ACS Members Free,

Non-members £4.00

NEW: 5 week Family History Course at Rawdon Library This Thursday 1.30pm. Tel 0113 2503580 for more information.

NEW: 5 week Family History Course at Rawdon Library This Thursday 3rd October at 1.30pm. 
Interested in your Family History or the History of your house or researching local history in general?
A new 5 week (fortnightly)  course promoted by Aireborough Civic Society & the libary starts this Thursday 3rd October at your local Rawdon Community Library.  Cost £38 for 5 sessions: 3rd, 17th October, 7th, 21st November and 5th December Tel 0113 2503580 for more information.  All welcome: beginners and those with some experience.
Enrol online 0300 303 3464, by phone or just turn up on Thursday.

FREE USE of ‘Find My Past’ website at Rawdon Library for your research.

ACS Talk: Beauty Is…. 7.30pm on Thursday – 26th Sept at Rawdon Library.

Talk: Beauty Is…
The next Aireborough Civic Society talk is at 7.30pm on Thursday – 26th Sept at Rawdon Library.

How do we know that something is beautiful? And how does ‘beauty’ relate to ‘design’? The talk will be thought provoking and help us all understand what beauty is and its relationship to our buildings and environment.

How do we make our environment more attractive, especially when designing new buildings? But what makes the difference? How do we decide? Have we made mistakes in the past that we now have to live with? What do you think of the design of new housing in Aireborough?

In November 2018, the government announced the setting up the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission. The purpose of the Commission, which is to be chaired by philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, is to “tackle the challenge of poor quality design and build of homes and places, across the country and help ensure as we build for the future, we do so with popular consent”.

One of the Commission’s aims is to “advocate for beauty in the built environment”.
Kevin Trickett has been asked to join a panel set up by Civic Voice, the national organisation for the civic society movement, to help prepare a response to the Commission on behalf of the movement. As a student of philosophy himself, Kevin’s first response was to consider what we think of when we hear the word ‘beauty’. How does beauty relate to the built environment? Kevin is Chair of Yorkshire Civic Societies.In 2018 he was awarded an MBE for services to the community.
ACS members free. Non-members £4 or join for the rest of the year for £5 – includes next talk Christmas with the Royal Family with the queen’s former pastry chef.

URGENT: Our Green Belt Under Major Threat

Just 3 Weeks To Save Our Green Belt from 475 Houses

For the past 6 years Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum, Aireborough Civic Society, local Councillors & MPs have been opposing Leeds City Council Plans to take away important Green Belt sites in Aireborough for building.

During that time we have kept hearing politicians say that the Green Belt is protected!

     Will’s Gill:   Medieval Fields to the North of Guiseley Church.  Open countryside looking towards Otley Chevin. 

We were extremely puzzled and disappointed that the Planning Inspector removed many other Green Belt sites from the Leeds Sites Allocation Plan, but not 4 important sites in Aireborough.  The Neighbourhood Forum felt that this injustice could not be ignored and agreed to pay for further advice from the barrister who represented us at the hearing.

We now have 3 weeks to challenge the Planning Inspector’s decision, to allow building on our Green Belt, by going for a judicial review.   Our barrister considers that we have a very good chance of success.  It is important to note that we are doing this for residents (current and future) not ourselves.  

However the costs and timescale make this a massive challenge.   £40,000 is needed by 21st August for us to be able to challenge these dreadful plans.    But if 4,000 people each donate £10 then we shall be able to go ahead and try to overturn the decision.

How to donate:

If people use the Local Giving appeal site here, we get gift aid if they tick the relevant box. https://localgiving.org/appeal/greenbeltlegalfees/  

Full details and links on the Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum website:


Or on Aireborough Voice:


Donations can also be made by cheque, transfers etc.

Larger donations are also needed and could make all the difference.  These should take the form of pledges.

Please contact Jennifer Kirkby: [email protected]

or Linda Kitching: [email protected]


The Green Belt to be lost is at:

  1. Will’s Gill – next to the medieval fields in the countryside North of Guiseley Church (Grade 1 Listed) – with attractive footpaths and views towards Otley Chevin.
  2. The Ings – an important wildlife floodplain separating Guiseley from Menston;
  3. Hollins Hill – next to historic listed buildings and prominent landscape.
  4. Victoria Avenue – next to Yeadon Tarn and the Airport.

Three of the four sites are of historical importance in addition to their Green Belt function and the planning inspector was made aware of this in our submissions and at the examination.  All will add to already chronic congestion (about 800 more cars) and air pollution and there are access issues with all of the sites. Members and residents attended enquiries and made responses in writing with legitimate objections.   These have been ignored.

The Inspector’s Report

The Planning Inspector who examined the Leeds plans has now given the go ahead to allow the 4 Green Belt sites in Aireborough to be built on.   NOWHERE IN HER REPORT ARE ANY REASONS GIVEN FOR  HER DECISION, despite the fact that GREEN BELT is supposed to be protected and one site (near Guiseley Church) is in the Conservation Area.

We have no evidence that the inspector even visited the sites to assess the impact on the landscape.

Even more questionable is that Leeds is allowing 810 more houses than it actually needs to meet its target, so the 475 in Aireborough are not actually needed!  Again the inspector failed to comment on this objection too.

If we do nothing to prevent this damage to our local countryside we shall regret it and therefore we urge you to support our campaign by donating, and also spreading the word to all who value our Green Belt and countryside.   Other parts of the country are also suffering from poor planning choices and decisions.

Key Points Justifying A Judicial Review of the Planning Inspectors Decision to Allow 4 Aireborough Sites to Remain in the SAP

  1. The NPPF states that Green Belt sites should only be taken in EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES.  Leeds has never explained what these exceptional circumstances are and NEITHER has the Planning Inspector.
  2. Leeds has taken more GREEN BELT LAND than they actually needed —  for 810 dwellings more than the target number.
  3. No evidence that the Planning Inspector even visited Wills Gill, The Ings, or Hollins Hill.
  4. The Inspector has also allowed 36 hectares of Green Belt land to be used near Leeds/Bradford Airport for an employment hub, without clear reasons of why other nearby brownfield land could not be used.
  5. Advice from a barrister on the inspector’s report is that we would have a good chance of winning because
    a) she failed to answer technical anomalies in Leeds statistics,
    b) nor did she explain why individual sites should be retained in the SAP despite evidence to the contrary presented by many organizations and residents at consultations and at the enquiry.

It is therefore the intention to apply for a judicial review into the inspector’s handling of the Leeds SAP Enquiry.    This is quite an undertaking as an application will cost about £12,000 and the costs of a full hearing could cost up to £40,000 – a real David and Goliath situation.

The fees are to employ a specialist planning barrister and a firm of solicitors who know the complexity of planning law, are aware of case-law, and have some understanding of the complicated situation in Leeds and Aireborough.

However if 4000 residents donated just £10 each those costs would be covered.     The timescale is also very tight with a deadline of 21st August.   Donations urgently requested.  A crowdfunding site has been set up for this.