Thursday, 9 June 2011

Scott Hall Supplement

Rebranded Busway Blog!
And not Scott Hall, the American wrestler; seems like a nice friendly guy.

But a suburb to the north of Leeds, located on the A61.  Nothing is left of the eponymous Hall, but Scott Hall Farm, a listed building at risk from decay, still stands.
Scott Wood and Sugarwell Park are remaining parts of the orginal country estate.
But our interest is with the guided busway, mentioned in a recent blog "Histon Histrionics" (read again).  The sections of track were built progressively for an opening in 1995, under the auspices of West Yorkshire  PTE and the Yorkshire Rider bus company, later bought by First.  The original branding was "Superbus" ...
... seen here leaving the long inbound section of the track at the Stainbeck Lane roundabout.  An early West Yorkshire leaflet includes all the services that were scheduled to use the new infrastructure :-
Over the years, the "up-front" branding had faded from public view and normal First "barbie" livery has been standard, seen here on a service 35 at King Lane Park & Ride looking towards Alwoodley.
It is most of these services which have been rebranded from 1st May to partner some upgrade work on the busway itself.   This is what the press release explained ...

"Metro will be carrying out an intensive clean of shelters along the route and is introducing additional yournextbus real-time information displays,
timetable cases and litter bins at stops. Leeds City Council has re-surfaced sections of the guide-way and will be carrying out improvements to infrastructure at the King Lane Park and Ride site and trialling a new grass infill for the centre of the guideway track to improve its overall appearance."  

But the most obvious operational changes will be to the service numbers, as shown on the W Y Metro route map and the on-line display shown above (for a full size copy of the map, click here) ...
"Service 35 to Alwoodley will become the 7A, service 45 to Shadwell will become the 7S, service 71 to the King Lane Park & Ride and Wigton Moor will become service 7 and the X35 to the King Lane Park & Ride and Alwoodley [Gates] will become the X7." 

The 7 extends from Primley Park to Wigton Moor in the evening and on Sundays, supplementing the Monday to Saturday daytime 48 which is outside the "7 series" scheme as it runs via Potternewton and Chapel Allerton. But, from the passengers point of view, the delight will be the new buses ...
"This includes the introduction of a £7m fleet of 22 brand-new hybrid buses. Powered by a combination of batteries, [electric motors] and conventional diesel, the new buses produce 35% lower carbon emissions. As well as being kinder to the local environment, the new vehicles are quieter than conventional buses. Not only will the new, silver, double-deck buses have more seats than those that currently use the Scott Hall Road guideway but those seats will be leather, meaning more comfort for passengers." 

The guided busway is not universally appreciated by Leeds residents, especially the committed motorists who, understandably, object to being held in traffic queues whilst the buses enjoy their traffic light controlled priority at busy junctions.
Whatever your opinion, however, things are a lot better here than in Cambridge! 

To view timetables referred to in the blog, click on the service number :-
7 7A , 7S , X7 , 48
Timetables in effect from May 2011

Next blog : due Friday June 10th  

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