Better frequencies and lower fares drive growth in West Yorkshire

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West Yorkshire bus operator The Keighley Bus Company is planning more improvements to its Aireline service between Keighley and Leeds next month after its partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority secured support worth £2.7 million over three years. TRANSDEV

The Keighley Bus Company has unveiled plans to increase its Aireline route to three buses per hour after seeing a double-digit rise in passenger numbers. The West Yorkshire operator says that boosted timetables and lower fares have delivered double-digit increases in customer numbers on four of its routes, and it is now planning to increase its Aireline service from Keighley to Leeds via Saltaire and Shipley to run every 20 minutes from 17 March.

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Working in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the firm announced last September that it had secured Combined Authority support worth £2.7 million over three years to deliver improvements aimed at attracting more people to choose the bus, and cut congestion and pollution. The funding enabled the company to run more buses on three of its most popular local routes in and around Keighley and introduce a new route 60A to increase weekday journeys between Shipley and Leeds. A £1-a-trip flat fare for local journeys within Keighley was also launched with support from the funding package. Commercial Director Paul Turner said: “As well as the increase to Aireline to run every 20 minutes throughout between Keighley, Shipley and Leeds, we’ll also run an extra bus to give more capacity for peak-time morning arrivals into Leeds between 8am and 9am – with a further extra bus departing from Leeds between 4pm and 5pm, boosting evening peak departures from Leeds City Bus Station to every 15 minutes.

“We’re delighted to see significant improvements for our customers, supported by the Combined Authority through Bus Service Improvement Plan funding, are proving so popular with more people in West Yorkshire switching to our buses. The success of these additional services and the £1 flat fare for local travel in Keighley is an excellent example of partnership working between bus operators, local transport authorities and Government to make bus travel attractive for many more people.” Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin added: “Making bus travel more convenient, reliable and affordable is a key part of my vision for a better-connected West Yorkshire. Our funding has given these buses a real boost, showing that investment into the network delivers results. I hope to see results like these replicated across the region.”