Alex Sobel has announced a public meeting that will allow residents to speak directly to First Bus over their ‘significant concerns ‘over the quality of the service. The meeting will take place on Thursday 7th February from 5.45pm at Heart in Headingley.
The MP for Leeds North West has described the ‘justifiable anger’ amongst constituents after the price increases this year. He met with representatives from First Bus in November and was pleased when the company agreed to his request of a ‘face to face’ with constituents and service users.
Alex Sobel has been actively campaigning on the issue since taking office in the summer of 2017, conducting several meetings with First as well as facilitating a conference with train companies to ensure better connections. Last year, Mr Sobel took a constituent, concerned about the removal of the 19a Service from Yeadon to the Bus depot to put her concerns directly to company bosses.
Alex Sobel said “Significant concerns have been raised with me in correspondence and constituency surgeries, about First Bus. The quality of the service has been a running theme and this public meeting must address that. First must also address the justifiable anger that people feel over the price increases which on some tickets have stretched to 110%. I am grateful to First for agreeing to this meeting and to Heart in Headingley for offering to host it. Whilst I hope that people across Leeds North West attend, I realise that it is hard for some to get across this large constituency. I will therefore be canvassing opinion in every area and ensure that the full voice of Leeds North West is heard on this issue.”
Headingley Councillor, and transport campaigner Neil Walshaw said, “The bus ticket rises are extremely unfair and hit young people and those with disabilities the hardest. It is vital that people are able to use the bus without worrying about the cost so that we can reduce the number of cars on our roads and improve our air quality.”
Elliot Nathan, Labour’s city council candidate for Otley and Yeadon said ‘I am pleased that our MP has been so proactive in getting First to agree to a public meeting. I am determined to ensure Otley and Yeadon’s voice is heard on this issue and will be canvassing opinion between now and February 7th. Otley has a big problem with traffic and Yeadon needs greater accessibility. It is therefore imperative that public transport is fixed in the interests of the public.”
Weetwood Councillor James Gibson welcomed the meeting, saying “Public transport is one of the biggest concerns for people in Weetwood. People need to know that they can trust that their bus will turn up. In order to help protect the environment locally we need more people to use public transport to get around, to do this a reliable affordable service is essential.”
Photo Credit: Liam Flynn