Investment in luxury ‘Sky Class’ buses between Leeds and York set to boost region's recovery

A £1.4m investment by bus operator Transdev in luxury ‘Sky Class’ buses for its link between two Yorkshire cities has been hailed as “hugely significant” for the region’s recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.

At York’s five-star Grand Hotel and Spa with one of Transdev’s £1.4m ‘Sky Class’ Cityzap buses are, from left: Cityzap Driver Barry Dean; Cllr. Paula Widdowson, City of York Council Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change; Paul Sammonds, Transdev Planning Manager; Cllr. Andy D’Agorne, City of York Council Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Transport; Paul Turner, Transdev Commercial Director; and Cityzap Driver Adam Williams

Yorkshire transport leaders said the mix of five-star features and ultra-low emissions makes the new Cityzap buses between Leeds and York a "prized regeneration asset" for both cities as they look to start rebuilding economic fortunes in 2021.

An all-new fleet of five double deckers, built in Britain to Transdev’s all-new ‘Sky Class’ specification, has entered service on the Cityzap intercity express route between York and Leeds.

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Despite the current Government restrictions on non-essential travel, council leaders in both cities are optimistic that the investment will pay dividends when customers are able to return.

West Yorkshire Transport Committee Chair Cllr. Kim Groves with a champagne welcome pack given to the first lucky customers on board Transdev’s new £1.4m Cityzap buses.

Coun Kim Groves, chair of West Yorkshire Transport Committee, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Transdev are bringing these state-of-the-art buses to the great cities of York and Leeds. Cityzap brings so much to both cities, opening up opportunities for travel to work, education and days out too.

“The impact is hugely significant to the region, and I can’t express my thanks enough to the drivers, and the team behind the scenes, who continue to exceed all expectations in terms of customer service.”

Transdev’s decision to invest in the new buses during the current pandemic was welcomed by Coun Paula Widdowson, City of York Council’s executive member for climate change, who said: “I’m delighted to see the new ultra-low emission Cityzap buses on York’s streets, supporting the Clean Air Zone introduced in York in 2020 – the first in the UK.

“The buses are very comfortable, and it is great to see them fitted out with the very latest technology for customers to enjoy. Transdev’s investment is to be applauded and I look forward to my next journey to Leeds even more.”

Transdev CEO, Alex Hornby, said: “British bus manufacturer, Alexander Dennis, describes our Cityzap buses as the highest specification they’ve ever been asked to build, and that was our vision from the outset. We believe our unique ‘Sky Class’ specification will attract people to switch from the car and train, by creating buses people are proud to be seen on.

“The customer reaction to these game-changing new buses has been amazing. We believe the bus has a key role to play regenerating Yorkshire’s economy.”