West Yorkshire Mayor sets out greener plan for buses in Calderdale

Buses in Calderdale and the rest of West Yorkshire will be greener, run later at night and never charge anyone more than £5.50.

That’s according to the region’s mayor, who this week said her new Bus Improvement Plan will transform services to ensure buses will be a “first choice” for everyone.

The plans, hailed by Mayor Tracy Brabin as “bold” and “ambitious”, will allow transport chiefs to bid against other regional authorities for millions of pounds of extra spending money for bus services from central government.

But regional leaders also spoke out against the “beauty contest” nature of the bidding process, adding that the process for requesting funds from Government takes up time and resources.

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Halifax bus station

The comments were made in a full meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), which looks after transport and large infrastructure projects in the region.

Mayor Brabin said: “The bus has to be the first choice, and not the choice because you don’t have a car. Our plan is bold and ambitious, but simple with its focus on the passenger.

“It is about connecting people to work, education and leisure opportunities. It needs to be inclusive, safe for everyone, and we need to re-imagine how we design the bus system so it serves more than just the traditional commuter.

“Our bus network needs to connect different communities – we also need to extend the hours of the day that buses serve these communities, with better frequency and regularity.”

She added that 90 percent of transport emissions come from cars and vans, and that de-carbonising buses should be a priority.

The Bus Service Improvement Plan includes a pledge to pay customers’ taxi fares if the final bus service of the day is cancelled, and that the maximum cost of a day’s bus travel be capped at £5.50.

It also commits to creating greener bus fleets and improving the region’s roads to give buses better priority.

More early morning and evening services are included in the plans, while improvements to bus stations in Halifax, Leeds, Huddersfield, and Dewsbury are also included.

A new passenger charter will pledge that, if the final bus service of the day on a route is late or cancelled, taxi fares will be reimbursed.

A “tap and go” system will be introduced next year which means passengers are charged the best price for their journey and never more than this daily cap.

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