(Formerly 'West and North Yorkshire Campaign for Better Transport')
Area: North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire
Interests: Bus, Rail, Traffic
Contact: Mark Parry on 07941 642349 or Tony Plumbe on 01274 566607
Send them a message
News for October 2019
We welcome people sharing our concerns and interests.
To contact us: send us an online message or call Mark Parry on 07941 642349 or Tony Plumbe on 01274 566607
You can also turn up at one of our free meetings advertised below.
Rail Group Meetings:
Now at our new more spacious venue - 'Editor's Draught', 88 Wellington St, Leeds, LS1 4LT.
The next meeting starts at 19:30 on Monday 18 November 2019.
2020 dates will be confirmed shortly.
Bus Group Meetings:
'Caffe Nero's', 29a Bond Street Leeds LS1 5HD. Next to Tesco.
Starting at 17:30 on Tuesday, 12 November 2019 and 14 January 2020.
If you want to join us and don’t know what we look like, text Mark on 07941 642349.
The Yorkshire Branch of Railfuture's next meeting & Annual General Meeting is in Leeds at St. George's Conference Centre, Great George St. LS1 3DL on Saturday 25 January 2020 from 13:00.
For further details text Mark on 07941 642349
Bus Group Visits Cllr Groves and Dave Pearson at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA)
On 19 August we visited Cllr Groves, the Chair of the Transport Committee, and Dave Pearson, the Director of Transport Services, at Wellington House. We raised our concerns about the proposed airport link road. They are keen to see a modal shift away from car use and intend to improve the frequency of the Airport Bus and make it a 24 hour operation again. However, they will not say there will be no more road building.
On car parking they hope to match the bus fares and Park and Ride fares so it is no longer cheaper to catch a bus at a park and ride site. They have tried to introduce an 'employer provided parking tax' before but they are concerned about who pays, often the charges are passed onto the employees. (As the employee would be driving, then this would be encouragement for them to use an alternative mode surely). They accept that the Park and Ride schemes only take a few cars off the road and that a bolder scheme is needed.
On the delayed Leeds clean air zone we asked why cars were not to be charged as in Birmingham. They want to take small steps at a time to keep the public on board. This could have been one of the bold schemes to help take more cars off our roads mentioned above. There is no news when the scheme will be introduced.
We raised the frequent disruptions to Sunday services because of sporting events which extend well beyond the City Centre. This has particularly affected Dalesbus. There were no clear answers on this but they accept they need to talk with Dalesbus for next year.
On Otley Bus Station there is no progress. The situation is complicated by the fact that the adjacent shopping arcade owns the site, which is leased to First, who have to deploy a banksman to help buses reverse. There are also issues between WYCA and Otley Town Council.
On recent reports about bus franchising we sought clarification. Only Leeds council has suggested this option and WYCA hopes to get the powers for this franchising option if it becomes a Mayoral authority. As both First and Arriva are both up for sale WYCA is looking ahead to strategic issues. In the worst case scenario one of these companies could be bought up and the new owner decide to close the operation in say Halifax (only an example!) leaving WYCA with a major problem if they are unable to franchise. They did emphasise they were currently in a partnership and pointed out that the likes of Manchester have to try partnerships before they can proceed to franchising. Since our meeting, it has been suggested that WYCA buys the First and ARRIVA operations, but no details have been given.
Media Exposure and Other Campaigning
We have been busy issuing press releases and appearing on the media over the last few months. One of the more prominent press releases was on the possible loss of discounted fares for older people, this appeared in the Huddersfield Examiner on 11 August 2019 and was drafted by Tony Plumbe. Tony also wrote to the Yorkshire Post on the Trans Pennine Upgrade, and his letter appeared on 25 August 2019. Other press releases issued were on the 'Blake-Jones' report, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the regulated fares increase. Our comments on the proposed Trans Pennine Upgrade are in the process of being completed.
Mark Parry had 5 minutes on radio Leeds on 19 August on the lack of investment in Yorkshire and again was quoted in the news headlines on 5 September about additional spending for buses in the Spending Review. Mark was quoted (inaccurately but no damage done) in the Yorkshire Evening Post on 1 October 2019.
Tony Plumbe discussed rail and bus issues with Tracy Brabin at her request on 28 August; Tracy is the Labour MP for Batley and Spen and hopes to keep in touch. She was concerned about fares to London, the cost of HS2, is keen on a state owned bus system and is focused on Batley.
Four of us made an input at the Transport and Movement Workshop for the Bradford Local Plan, Core Strategy Partial Review. We raised several priorities such as introducing a clean air zone, improving the public transport infrastructure, re-opening of the Spen Valley and Skipton to Colne lines. Also bringing forward the building of the Northern Powerhouse railway, which would provide a major benefit for Bradford.
An objection was submitted by us to a proposal in Hawes which would have involved taking land from the former Wensleydale Line.
Harrogate Proposed New Road Abandoned
A proposed inner 'relief' road between Harrogate and Knaresborough was proposed and a consultation began, to which we responded opposing the road. Many others clearly had a similar view and the survey result was 78% against, hopefully the tide is turning against new roads. However, the Council is now considering a Killingham bypass and a link from the B6162 Otley Road to the A61 Leeds Road, it is claimed these ideas are a result of the consultation response. There was much support for cycling and walking investment, park and ride and bus priorities as well as behaviour change in how we travel. There was not much support for a congestion charge, but the Council is to review parking charges and the management of parking, something we suggested.