Cllr David Blackburn (Farnley & Wortley ward) of the Green Party has received many complaints from local residents about the bus services they endure, and shares their desire to improve the buses in Leeds. Cllr Blackburn said of the issue:
“We continue to take up the many complaints about the bus services operated by First Bus, particularly the Nos. 4 and 42. In the meantime, First Group, the owners of First Bus have successfully made a bid of approximately £390 million a year over 13 years for the West Coast Mainline rail franchise (London Euston to Manchester & Glasgow). In our view it is a pity that First did not use some of that money to invest in the bus services they run. This, of course, comes from a company who actually had a passenger strikes on its First Great Western train services due to their unreliable services.
Here in West Yorkshire (the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority) Metro has come up with proposals to take over the full bus network in West Yorkshire. They would be able to set the level of fares, including multi journey tickets, set the timetables and services and would decide which operator runs the services (similar to how bus services are run in London). Of course, the bus operators are opposed. We understand the proposals will go out to public consultation some time in October, and we would ask all those people who are dissatisfied with the current services to write to the Traffic Commissioner during the consultation.”
Cllrs. Ann & David Blackburn have also written to the US born Chief Executive of First Group, Tim O’Toole, inviting him to spend a day with them living the First Bus “experience” in Leeds and meet some of his disgruntled customers.