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Save our buses

Fair Fares Now

Roads to Nowhere

West and North Yorkshire Campaign for Better Transport

Area: North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire
Interests: Bus, Rail, Traffic
Contact: Ray Wilkes
Send them a message
Tel: 01274 403540

News for October 2018

We welcome people sharing our concerns and interests.

To contact us: Call Ray Wilkes on 01274 403540 or send us an online message.

You can also turn up at one of our free meetings advertised below.

Speaker Meeting: Tuesday 13 November 2018, 19:30 
Tom Hacker, Public Sector Team Leader at WSP in the UK
The Future of Leeds Buses 
St. George’s Conference Centre, 60 Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3DL 
Everyone is Welcome – please note NEW VENUE

Speaker Meeting: 12 February 2019
Jeff McQuillan on reopening Bradford's Queensbury tunnel for cycling. 
He will be covering walking and cycling generally. 
19:30 in St. George's Conference Centre, 60 Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3DL 

Rail Group Meetings: 'Veritas' 43-47 Great George St, Leeds, LS1 3BB. 
Starting at 19:30 on the following Mondays in 2018: 

  • 22 October
  • 3 December

Please check venue by calling Mark on 07941 642349 before attending, as we are looking for an alternative free venue in the centre of Leeds. Suggestions welcome. 

Bus Group Meetings: 'Caffe Nero's', 29a Bond Street Leeds LS1 5HD. Next to Tesco. 
Starting at 17:30 on the following Tuesdays 

  • 18 September 
  • 20 November

If you want to join us and don't know what we look like, call Mark on 07941 642349. 

Speaker Meetings
Previously we advertised a speaker meeting for the 9 October 2018. Please note this will NOT take place as the meeting on 25 September replaced it. 
The list is now: 

  • 13 November Tom Hacker
  • 12 February Jeff McQuillan
  • 13 March to be confirmed
  • 9 April our Annual General Meeting

Railfuture meetings
Railfuture is a different campaign group improving our railways. The next Yorkshire Branch meeting is at: The Creative Lounge, The Showroom & Workstation, Paternoster Row, Sheffield S1 2BX, on Saturday, 27 October 2018 from 13:00–16:00. Speaker is Alex Forrest of the Sheffield City Region. 

Eversholt Rail – Rolling Stock Owner 

Tim BurleighTim Burleigh, of Eversholt Rail, gave an excellent presentation on 25 September, about the work of a rolling stock owner. When parts of the rail industry were privatised in 1994, three rolling stock companies were formed, one of which was Eversholt, which originally inherited just electric trains. Now they have a variety of 3,500 trains, £3.1 billion worth. The operating franchises compete for the available rolling stock. Eversholt is not just a financier and none of the rolling stock companies are owned by the banks now. Eversholt accepted 178 new trains in 2018, 800 are being upgraded and 350 trains were inspected as part of a sample annual 10% check. For Thameslink they manage the trains but don’t own them. 

The growth in rail travel since privatisation has stopped in the last year or so, and this could have an impact on the demand for trains from Eversholt and its competitors. Other factors may also have an impact. Road transport is being reviewed to improve the impact on the environment, and could steal rail's environmentally superior tag. The review of franchising and better integration of track and train could also have an impact. But more importantly rail has not had a good press recently with the timetable problems, industrial action and project delays all providing a disincentive for rail travel. 

Eversholt is investing in new trains including 281 diesel and electric trains for Northern, the class 195s and 331s: 60 class 397 electric vehicles for Transpennine Express and 236 class 802 vehicles for the Great Western bi-mode trains. They work with the supplier and the customer (the franchise) through the design process and monitor the building of trains. They engage with all stakeholders to ensure the trains get on the track. Once built Eversholt manages the maintenance of their trains and undertake enhancements to older vehicles, such as the class 185 Transpennine Express trains. 22 of the class 185s are no longer required by Transpennine Express, these top reliability units need to be leased to someone else, along with some renovated class 321 electric trains that East Annlia trains no longer needs. If these trains are not found a new home, then Eversholt receives no income for them, has to pay storage costs and when they are placed, may need to update them again. They are currently developing a single carriage 50 seater hydrogen train.

Leeds Bradford Airport Parkway Station 

We are opposed to this new station and a press release was issued late September in reaction to the developments of these plans. Our press release pointed out the need for passengers alighting at the new station to connect to an airport bus would cause delays, and that such a system could be deployed from the existing Horsforth station without the cost of a new station. The park and ride proposed for the new station we don't think will result in major traffic reductions in the area. 

Otley Bus Station 

We have noticed the difficult manoeuvres buses sometimes have to make when entering and leaving the busy Bus Station at Otley, so much so that banks-persons have to be employed to ensure movements are safe. Buses are often held waiting while a stop becomes available. The nearest real time information is around the corner, not obvious to passengers. First Bus lease the station and are considering remodelling the station to improve the situation after we raised our concerns. Previous plans to improve the situation had been thwarted by the local council as they involved some buses departing off site. 

Photo of Tim Burleigh by Mark Parry.