West Yorkshire Bus Alliance releases latest performance figures
In line with an agreement through the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance, figures that pull together the performance of West Yorkshire’s largest bus operators have, once again, been published.
The Alliance, which comprises the Combined Authority and West Yorkshire’s bus companies and district councils releases the figures each quarter as part of its commitment to transparency and making improvements. The number of miles operated, against the scheduled mileage and punctuality of departures from buses’ first stops and along the route are show in the figures.
This quarter’s update, for October, November and December 2019, shows buses ran 97.9 percent of the 4.3 million monthly scheduled miles, which is close to the level with the same quarter in 2018. In total over the three-month period West Yorkshire buses ran around 12.5 million miles, the equivalent of around 502 trips around the world.
Over the same October, November and December 2019 period, 88.16 percent of buses left their first stop on time, which is over 4.5 percent lower than the previous quarter for first stop departures. Over 77.7 per cent left selected stops along the route on time which is 2.2 percent lower than the same period last year.
Commenting on the latest figures, Chair of ABOWY (Association of Bus Operators West Yorkshire) Andrew McGuiness said: “Unfortunately, seasonal traffic congestion across West Yorkshire during November and December has, once again, impacted many of our services. The figures clearly reflect the disruption that road users, including our buses and customers, faced during the weeks leading up to Christmas.
“We expect traffic to be busy at this time of year but the 2%-plus decline on last year shows the increased levels of congestion we were facing.
“However, through the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance we are working as a team to make permanent, long-term improvements in punctuality and reliability for our passengers, our employees and for our towns and cities.”
Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance and the Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “In Leeds city centre we are investing tens of millions of pounds through the Connecting Leeds programmes to make the public transport improvements that people regularly call for.
“Schemes such as the work on The Headrow, Infirmary Street and Park Row and forthcoming works at the Corn Exchange and Armley Gyratory are all about getting more people to use buses by making them more reliable and punctual.
“Because the Department for Transport has stipulated that these projects must be completed in 2021, which means there will be some short-term disruption to deliver these permanent long-term benefits.
“Alliance members are well-aware of the need to keep our city and town centres moving while carrying out these important improvements and we are working together to minimise how bus services are affected by traffic.”
The organisation of the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance, which emerged from the successful Bus18 initiative, is based upon the government’s legal provisions for Voluntary Partnership Agreements.
During periods of severe disruption, Alliance member are committed to everything possible to help customers, including bus companies accepting each other’s tickets.
The Alliance is relaxing I.D requirements for young people and making fares easier to understand encouraging more people to use the bus as a sustainable way to travel. A freeze on young people’s MCard fares is also aimed at growing bus use.
Other Alliance achievements include the introduction of the popular, £2.75 countywide MyDay bus ticket for under 19s and guarantees by Arriva, First and Transdev to provide a free travel voucher to any passengers not happy with their bus journey. Customers whose last bus fails to arrive within 20 minutes of the scheduled time can now get the cost of the taxi fare home reimbursed.