‘Faster and better’ buses to link cities

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IMPROVED and more frequent bus services between Leeds and Bradford will be brought in by the end of October.

Bus operator First, with backing from transport bosses and two city councils, announced yesterday it is to establish the first phase of a “rapid transit” service that will see buses every seven minutes during the day Monday-Saturday.

The aim is to encourage more people onto public transport.

First is refurbishing buses for this service to include leather seats and free wi-fi.

Future phases will consider the feasibility of new bus priority schemes to speed up journey times.

Dave Alexander, of First, said: “This is an exciting strategically important project that will bring significant economic and social benefits to Leeds and Bradford.

Bus customers on service 4 Pudsey-Leeds-Seacroft will also benefit from the project.

The service in Pudsey will be extended to Thornbury Barracks and Highfield Green, following requests from residents, using modern low-floor double deck vehicles.

“This will be a significant investment in vehicles and infrastructure by Metro and First,” said Metro chairman Councillor James Lewis. “As well as the refurbished buses, many shelters and bus stops along the route in Armley, Stanningley, Thornbury and Bradford Moor will be updated and given raised kerbing to allow level boarding for customers.”

* Passengers using New Pudsey railway station are to benefit from improved car parking thanks to £710,000 of Metro funding for 176 new spaces and junction improvements on Owlcotes Lane.