Leeds granted £173.5m bus funding package

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Leeds is to benefit from high frequency ‘busways’, improved Park & Ride facilities and better stops and signs after Transport Minister Andrew Jones confirmed a £173.5m funding package for the city.

The investment includes new integrated bus corridors, including segregated lanes and real-time information for passengers.

It also allows Leeds to develop proposals for local rail improvements, subject to wider rail industry consultation.

Transport Minister, Andrew Jones, said: “New segregated bus corridors and investment in Park & Ride schemes will be a huge benefit to people who live and work in Leeds, and those who visit the city.

“This investment will make public transport in Leeds more accessible and reduce journey times.

“Better transport facilities don’t just help people get around, they help them get on – connecting them to jobs and helping to deliver economic growth in the north.”

The funding be delivered over a four year period. West Yorkshire Combined Authority will receive £21m in 2017/18, £48.7m in 2018/19, £49.1m in 2019/20 and £54.7m in 2020/21.

In addition, FirstGroup has agreed in principle to commit £71m to providing 284 new low emission buses by 2020 for use in Leeds.

Managing Director of First West Yorkshire, Paul Matthews, commented: “This is the first major step towards transforming Leeds’s transport network and I’m proud that First West Yorkshire is a pivotal part of this.

“We remain committed to our pledge, but it’s hugely important that we continue to work in partnership with Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority so that we can tackle the issue of congestion, thereby improving the reliability of services and encouraging even more people to travel by bus.”

Leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Judith Blake, said: “We are delighted that the Department for Transport has given its support for our plans which have the potential to transform public transport in Leeds, with improvements we can deliver in the coming years in keeping with what the people of Leeds told us they want to see.

“That is making it quicker and easier for everyone to be able to move around the city as well as connecting people and businesses to places and jobs, increasing productivity and supporting major economic growth areas.”

West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Chairman, Cllr Keith Wakefield, said: “These plans to build on successful developments on the county’s rail and bus networks are in line with the combined authority’s aim of developing a modern integrated transport network that benefits the whole of Leeds City Region.”