20 years of Leeds Busway
First Bus, Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) have celebrated 20 years of the Guided Busway Scheme in Leeds. The partners celebrated by cutting an anniversary cake in front of one of the current hybrid buses in a fresh green livery. The project was introduced by Leeds City Council (who provided the road improvements to boost reliability and kerbs for access), Yorkshire Rider (later First Bus) who introduced high quality buses and Metro who delivered improved information and bus stop waiting areas. Spread over five sections, it was one of the first bus partnership schemes in the UK.
It is thought the introduction of low floor buses with improved bus stop areas on the Busway routes has helped generate over 30m customer journeys since its launch. As customer numbers have grown, FirstBus has introduced double deckers to meet demand. The operator introduced 22 diesel-electric hybrids in 2011, which produced 35% lower emissions and improved customer comfort with leather seats. Today the 7 series of bus services operate on the Guideway, generating over 45,000 customer journeys a week between Leeds and Alwoodley/Shadwell. To celebrate the occasion First Bus is inviting the public of Leeds to name the remaining 11 of the 22 hybrid buses after iconic Leeds organisations and people. People can make nominations via Twitter.
WYCA is currently talking to partners and groups, including bus operators, to establish an initial set of principles and a vision for its Bus Strategy. Once that is established, it plans to carry out a public consultation on it.
Head of Commercial for First West Yorkshire, Paul Turner, said, ‘We’re proud to celebrate 20 years of successful partnership with Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority serving our customers. The continuing growth of the ‘Scott Hall’ services is testament to the dedication of all our team that have served customers over these two decades. We look forward to welcoming more customers who can enjoy the reliable and high quality services that this bus priority scheme provides, supporting the local economy and delivering low-carbon, great value travel options.’