Late buses spark hundreds of complaints in West Yorkshire

Contactless payments will be introduced for First Bus customers later this month.
Contactless payments will be introduced for First Bus customers later this month.

Disgruntled passengers made 571 complaints about buses being late in West Yorkshire last year.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority received 571 complaints about late buses in 2017, 13 of which were an hour or more late.

Thirty-two of the complaints were about a bus being 45 minutes or more late, and 58 were about a bus being half-an-hour or more late.

Martin Hirst, Commercial Director at First West Yorkshire, said: “As one of the largest bus operators in the region we carry around 350,000 people every day and last year we carried out over 95 million passenger journeys across West Yorkshire and it’s therefore disappointing to hear from unhappy customers. Of the nine services that we operate in the list provided, we have already, or plan to, make changes to at least seven of the services by next month and we are confident that these changes will improve the reliability of the bus services.

“In addition to making changes to these key services, we are also addressing the issue of road congestion by working in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Council and other local operators, through the Bus18 Partnership. We will also be offering customers the option to pay via contactless from 18th January; if more customers converted to using mTickets, contactless or the Mcard, then this would have a huge impact on boarding times and would help us in the battle to speed up the bus.

“We want our customers to regard us as the number one bus company, which means always putting them first and having a well-run business, so that we can keep fares fair and re-invest our profits into what customers want: a reliable service and good quality buses.”

Jon Croxford, area managing director for Arriva Yorkshire, said: “As a company, we take punctuality very seriously as we know how important it is to our customers.

“Close to nine out of ten buses run on time and contrary to some perceptions this figure is improving all the time.

“Some of this improvement is down to new technology such as on-board satellite tracking devices but much of it has required investment in additional buses on existing routes.

“I am pleased to say that, on the back of this, complaints about Arriva Yorkshire bus services reduced significantly in 2017.

“As operators, we are committed to further improvements and are working with West Yorkshire Combined Authority on this as part of the Bus 18 initiative.

“We are also pressing district and city councils to support bus passengers with extra bus lanes, better located stops and improved management of inappropriately parked cars.

“We are also speeding up passenger boarding times by use of modern cashless payment systems.”

The top 10 most complained about routes:

26 complaints were made about the number 72 by First from Leeds to Bradford

20 were made about the X84 by First from Leeds to Skipton

12 were made about the 508 bus by First from Leeds to Halifax

11 were made about the 33a by First from Leeds to Otley

11 were made about the 7s by First from Leeds to Alwoodley

10 were made about the number 4 by First from Pudsey to Seacroft

10 were made about the number 6 by First from Leeds to Holt Park

9 were made about the number 91 bus by First from Pudsey to Halton Moor

7 were made about the number 737 by Yorkshire Tiger from Bradford to Harrogate

7 were made about the number 16 by First from Seacroft to Pudsey