I AM getting rather tired of Coun James Lewis, chair of Metro, constantly criticising First buses whenever they put their prices up. No one likes a fares increase but he does not speak for me or any bus passenger in West Yorkshire.
If Coun Lewis looks at the facts, he might see a different bigger picture. Take a return trip to Leeds from Wetherby of about 28 miles. Compared to my average car doing 48 mpg, I have worked out (for the past five years) there is almost no difference between car and bus – 14p a mile in 2014. But the car figure does not include MOT, tax, insurance and parking so the bus comes out easily on top. Buses are always cheaper than trains too.
The First bus ticket includes all routes in Leeds and to travel further afield in West Yorkshire their ticket (and Metro’s) is particularly good value. I am more interested in quality than cost – do we get what we pay for? On the whole – yes. The Wetherby service has comfortable, modern, well-driven and, most importantly, reliable double-deckers, though there are still too many drivers with no customer service skills.
Does Coun Lewis take any of the above into account or is he just playing politics with a very important issue?