A petition has been started calling on First Bus to reverse their cuts to the 508 bus service which connects Leeds City Centre with Halifax via the South of Bradford.
The petition was started by Councillor Matt Edwards, who represents Tong Ward and is also the Green Party’s national Transport spokesperson. The 508 runs along the edge of Tong Ward serving the Sutton Estate, Holmewood and Bierley.
Councillor Edwards said, “The communities in BD4 have some of the lowest rates of car ownership in Bradford and the 508 is an important connection to both Leeds and Halifax – without a 20-minute or more diversion into Bradford.
“As the cost of living has risen, buses offer an affordable way for people to get around without having to pay petrol and parking charges.
“It’s really disappointing that our privatised bus network is putting the profits of bus companies before running good quality, regular bus services.
“We should be expanding our bus network – not cutting it.“
Ursula Sutcliffe, who is the Green Party in Tong Ward in the local elections next month echoed the demand to reinstate more regular services.
“I don’t drive so for me buses are the easiest way for me to get around. I know people who use this service to get to the nearest supermarket or work, or their kids use it to get to school.
“This is going to add a lot of time to people’s journeys and mean people are either going miles out of their way, or sitting waiting around for buses.
“I really hope First listen to everyone that has signed this and reinstate the more frequent services.”
One resident from Holmewood who signed the petition said, “This bus service not only allows workers, pensions, and young people to easily get to Leeds or Halifax but to other places along route such as Asda on Rooley Lane or Thornbury.
“Many people don’t drive and rely on this service for many things like shopping, appointments, work and recreation amongst many other things.”
Councillor Edwards has also called on the Mayor of West Yorkshire to work with local councillors to demand First Bus reinstate the half-hourly services. He added; “The Mayor has made a big deal with the launch of her ‘Mayor’s Fare’ but cheaper tickets are of no use whatsoever when the private bus operators are cutting services and making them unusable.
“We really need the Mayor to step in here and work with us to get First to reinstate regular services. These changes are already having an impact on people getting to work, college or even having social lives.”
The petition is available at: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/dont-cut-the-508/