Major boost for buses as new and more frequent services set to launch in February

New and more frequent bus services are being launched in February.

22 January 2024

Bus services across West Yorkshire are set to receive a major boost, with new and more frequent services launching in February.

Investment from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority will create new links between Huddersfield and Halifax, and increase the frequency of services on some key routes across large swathes of the region.

The Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin has stepped in to support bus services as part of her mission to build a better-connected region.

The Mayor said:

“Better bus services are a vital part of my mission for a better-connected West Yorkshire.

“I’m delighted that these new and improved services will be hitting our streets next month – connecting communities, reducing reliance on cars and getting people where they need to go.”

The industry has been affected by changes to post-Covid travel patterns which have hit revenues, leading to operators cutting back on routes and frequencies.

Members of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee will next week hear that a host of services across West Yorkshire will see their frequencies uplifted from mid-February.

Wakefield in particular will benefit from the latest changes, with eight services seeing evening frequencies uplifted from one bus an hour to one every 30 minutes.

And new links will be created between Huddersfield and Halifax town centres, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital, in partnership with operator First.

Working with operator Transdev Blazefield, the Combined Authority launched new, cheaper and more regular services linking Leeds, Keighley and Shipley in September.

As a result, passenger numbers on some of those services have jumped by almost 30 per cent.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council and Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“The success of the Keighley scheme shows that investment into our bus network yields results.

“We know there is still work to do, but we’re committed to making the bus a reliable, affordable and convenient way of getting around West Yorkshire.”

Kayleigh Ingham, Commercial Director of First West Yorkshire, said:

“We are pleased to introduce these service improvements to support customers in Calderdale and Kirklees and those making trips to hospital appointments.

“There will be a revised 501 service together with a new X1 express, both operating to provide eight buses an hour between Halifax and Huddersfield. Later evening journeys are also being added to a number of other services, together with timetables changes to improve punctuality and reliability.

“We work closely with the Combined Authority to review the network and these latest enhancements have been achieved through our strong partnership.”

Transport Committee members will be asked to release a further £3.2 million of funding from the Combined Authority’s Bus Service Improvement Programme (BSIP) to help deliver the new Huddersfield to Halifax services, as well as a new service in development for parts of Wakefield, which is expected to launch later in the year.

A further round of service enhancements is also planned to be delivered across West Yorkshire in July 2024 - subject to the approval of further funding and procurement.

I’m delighted that these new and improved services will be hitting our streets next month – connecting communities, reducing reliance on cars and getting people where they need to go.

Tracy Brabin Mayor of West Yorkshire

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