Low emission bus pledge for Leeds

Bus operator First West Yorkshire has pledged £71 million to provide a fleet of 284 low-emission buses to the city of Leeds by 2020.

Leeds City Council said the move would improve air quality in the city by reducing nitrogen oxides and dioxides emissions by 87 per cent.

According to council figures, approximately one in three of households in the city are without a car, meaning that about 250,000 daily bus trips are made in the city.

The aim is to double passenger numbers within 10 years, while improvements at Leeds Bus Station and a continued expansion of the existing Elland Road park and ride service were also pledged by the council.

Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Together with First West Yorkshire, bus operators and partners in the city, we have set out the ambitious aim of doubling the number of people using the bus in the next 10 years along with improving air quality.

“We think that our ambitious target is achievable by delivering on these changes to offer an improved and more reliable network as well as increasing local services to help bring all communities closer together and connect people more easily to jobs.

“As part of the overall strategy these improvements would help get all of Leeds moving and be better connected which is the key to increased productivity and the future growth of the city and regional economy.”

Paul Matthews, managing director for First West Yorkshire, added: “As one of the largest bus operators in Leeds, we are delighted to be able to advance our significant investment, which alongside the commitments of Leeds City Council, will dramatically change the customer experience for bus travel, and as a result, we believe that doubling passenger numbers in the next 10 years is achievable.”