Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Clever Cash-Conservation Cost Control? [2]

Cunning Plan Number One
To save the threatened Free City Bus in Leeds and transform it into the Leeds City Bus, the proposal was to charge 50p per journey but mitigate the pain by have a large list of exceptions as shown above. The service reduced from every six minutes to every 8 and a slight revision in route was introduced.

The current trajectory is still one way from Station via College and Hospital ...
... a bit more college and (lower right) the bus station. Still, therefore, a trip from train station to bus ditto is circuitous, whereas from bus to train is a quick nip. Far from ideal. there are, of course, other buses which will get you to or near York Street but they take quite a bit of finding. 

Heres's the main station exit with buses a-plenty including your ten bob's worth.
The station lost its "City" tag yonks ago, but old habits die slowly in the world of omnibological cartography.
It was renamed in 1967!

Thus from 2011 until February this year all was hunky dory with your 50p round ride. Then rumours began to emerge.

Cunning Plan Number Two
But before all was revealed First's press office was exuding deep and frabjous joy about super smashing "next stop" visual and audible announcements being trialled on the circulating Optares
.But surely there has been plenty of this stuff around for ages.
fbb thinks (always a dangerous process in the elderly) that this system is different because each screen is effectively a Mobile Phone; which probably makes installation and cost easier to manage.

Cunning Plan Number Three
This comes in on 21st February. the press release is decidedly verbose but what will happen is this.

The Leeds City Bus ceases to exist. Or to explain it in press-relese-speak ...

First Leeds have announced a package of changes for the City Bus service that will see an increase in capacity, new journeys and a revised route and timetable from 21 February. The Leeds City Bus service will still provide the popular and frequent (every 10 minutes) connections between the bus and rail stations, colleges, University and the Leeds General Infirmary but will operate on Sunday and with bigger buses improving the capacity (40 seats instead of 24).

A positive spin on a service reduction from the heady days of every 8.

The changes have been possible by linking the service with Route 5 connecting Leeds with Halton Moor ...
... which runs every ten minutes.
First buses (91 and 5) at Halton Moor

The Old Farnley leg of route 5 will become service 15 ...
... and, in yet another "improvement", will drop from every 20 to every 30 minutes.

First buses (42s) at Old Farnley

Then comes the stinker.

Customers will also still be able to use the same passes and permits that are currently accepted including MCards, senior travel passes and First tickets. A flat fare of £1 is also available for customers from the driver.

The fare will be doubled!

There is, however, one genuine positive.
Because the new route is effectively the lollipop on the end of the route 5 stick, (Haltn Moor is due east of the city centre, off yo the right) it will be possible to sprint from the station exit and down the ramp to a stop at the bottom of Park Row ...
... and catch a non-free Leeds City Bus service 5 (???) DIRECT to the bus station.

Whether many will choose to do so for £1 remains debatable.

P.S. The dotted line on the new map is the route of the "exciting" (?) Sunday route.

 Next horse tram blog : Thursday 28th January 


  1. Abellio Surrey have those next stop screens and they rarely work. Then again neither do their buses given almost every day you pass one broken down.

  2. From the newer map I'm not sure that the new 5 actually goes into the bus station - as opposed to stopping nearby . . .