With bus passenger numbers still 15% below pre-Covid levels and the government support grants only being extended for short periods and at short notice, First Bus are making timetable changes starting on Sunday (2 July 2023).
The changes mainly affect early morning and late night services. South Leeds services affected are:
1 1B Beeston • Leeds • Headingley • Weetwood Sunday 2 July 2023
On Saturday mornings northbound, the 0530, 0730 and 0745 journeys from Beeston will be withdrawn; southbound, the 0515 and 0615 will be retimed 30 minutes later, the 0715 will be withdrawn, and the 0740 will be retimed 5 minutes later, leaving an hourly service in both directions before 0800. On Sunday mornings northbound, the 0608 and 0638 will be withdrawn; southbound, the 0554 and 0654 will be withdrawn. In both directions the frequency will be reduced from every 20 minutes to half-hourly 0700-1000.
51 52 Leeds • Cottingley • Morley • Tingley Mills Sunday 2 July 2023
On weekdays, the 2305 Tingley Mills to Leeds will be withdrawn. On Saturdays, all journeys before 0630 will be withdrawn (0500, 0600, 0627 to Leeds, 0548, 0627 to Morley). On Sundays, all journeys after 2200 will be withdrawn (2220, 2250 to Leeds, 2209, 2239 to Morley).
A spokesperson for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said:
“The Bus Recovery Grant (BSG) funding in its current form expires at the end of June, which will impact the viability of some services. The Mayor and other key local leaders have successfully lobbied government for additional funding and there has been a new package of funding announced for bus services going forward, with some of this coming directly to the Authority which is welcomed. However this is a lower value than the previous BRG funding and will not be enough to maintain every service.
“The Combined Authority have pressed operators to postpone any service changes until we know the outcome of latest government funding announcement, and whilst the majority of changes have been postponed in the short term, some operators have still registered changes to commence at the beginning of July.”
Fares on First Buses are also changing on Monday (3 July 2023) with the minimum single fare raised to £2, full details here. First are also encouraging passengers to use the Tap On Tap Off system which tracks your journeys and charges the cheapest fare for the day or week.
Kayeigh Ingham, First Bus’s Commercial Director of North & West Yorkshire, said:
“The majority of our single fare tickets are staying at the same price but we’re asking our customers to help us continue to achieve this by using TOTO or the pre-paid MCard.
“We have also continued to ensure that the average cost per trip of making multiple journeys remains low.”
“These fare changes reflect the customer travel and buying habits we’re now seeing since the pandemic.
“Our business is not immune from the impact of inflation and rising business costs. We have looked carefully at how we can limit price increases for customers and balance this with the challenge of maintaining a sustainable network as we build back passenger numbers.
“At a time when everyone is looking at how to manage rising living costs and how much they use their own transport with continued high fuel prices, the bus is an affordable and sustainable way to travel.”
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