Strong support for First’s NBfWY proposal

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Public consultation yields very positive response to bringing New Routemasters to West Yorkshire

Over 75% of people in West Yorkshire would consider using a bus more often if First’s proposed ‘New Bus’ proposal was introduced, according to the results of the public consultation on the New Bus for West Yorkshire (NBfWY) proposal.

The report stated that:

  • 77% of respondents said that they would consider using bus services more if the proposal was introduced;
  • On all measurements, passengers rated the proposed bus highly;
  • 85% of respondents thought that the layout of the new bus was either ‘good’ or ‘very good’;
  • 95% said they would welcome next stop information on bus services. Respondents commented that audio-visual announcements would increase their bus use by giving them more confidence to travel independently and on unfamiliar routes; and
  • Many respondents were strongly in favour of the smartcard aspect of the proposal, noting that it would contribute to a great improvement to journey times. 64% of respondents said smartcards would be their preferred method of payment.

Together with Wrightbus, First will produce a design illustration of what the new bus aspect of the proposal could look like, based on the public specification preferences revealed in the consultation.

Once a ‘Bus Partnership’ framework is in place and there is clarity on West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s medium to long term bus strategy, First will work with partners to identify a potential corridor for a NBfWY pilot operation.

First’s Head of Commercial, Paul Turner, said: “The consultation has shown potential for a substantial increase in bus use across the county. Through engaging with the public of West Yorkshire we have been able to better understand their transport needs and concerns and we would like to thank all of those who took part in the consultation and provided their feedback.

“Working with our partners, we will use the results to inform future bus design.”

The NBfWY proposal includes the introduction of new vehicles similar in concept to the ‘New Routemaster’ used in London, smart ticketing and aligning investment with infrastructure improvements through the West Yorkshire Transport fund to tackle congestion hotspots.

The new bus features up to three entry and exit points, two staircases, and smart ticketing touchpads, designed to increase efficiency and speed up bus journeys by reducing the time spent boarding and alighting.