Mirfield councillor suggests alternative as ‘unreliable’ buses on key route between Huddersfield and Leeds see people late for work

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A leading councillor says a key bus service between Huddersfield, Heckmondwike and Leeds should be altered as roadworks along Leeds Road are making commuters late for work.

Coun Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield) entered into a debate with Dwayne Wells, head of commercial for Arriva Yorkshire, on Twitter. Coun Bolt suggested an adjustment to the current 229 bus service, but Mr Wells was not in agreement.

Coun Bolt proposed that a shorter service begins at Cooper Bridge to avoid the roadworks on the A62 that are encountered when the bus begins at Huddersfield. This would see buses leaving from Huddersfield and Cooper Bridge alternating every 15 minutes.

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He explained that he had spoken to residents who had reported being late when using the current service. He also highlighted that his son had stopped using the bus to get to work in Leeds as he was 45 minutes late.

Mirfield councillor Martyn BoltMirfield councillor Martyn Bolt
Mirfield councillor Martyn Bolt

This was attributed to the unreliability of the bus service, as well as road works.

Mr Wells was concerned that reducing the frequency of buses between Huddersfield and Cooper Bridge to once every 30 minutes would “deprive communities” of regular transport links to Huddersfield.

He added that Arriva buses were constantly held up by “poorly coordinated roadworks.”

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Coun Bolt said: “Rather than whinge about not being able to run bus services effectively and efficiently along the whole of some routes, due to ongoing highway improvements, if Arriva looked at how they could run those services on the majority of the route, they may encourage people to use them, and reduce the congestion they complain about.”

Coun Bolt has suggested an adjustment to the current Arriva 229 bus serviceCoun Bolt has suggested an adjustment to the current Arriva 229 bus service
Coun Bolt has suggested an adjustment to the current Arriva 229 bus service

A spokesperson for Arriva said: “Service 229 is part of West Yorkshire’s Core Bus Network, with buses running fast and direct along the A62 between Huddersfield, Heckmondwike and Leeds every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime, and every 30 minutes on Sunday daytime.

"It is used by thousands of passengers every week to access work and education, to go shopping and visit friends, and is one of West Yorkshire’s fastest growing bus services.

“Reducing bus services due to roadworks is a last resort as it would adversely affect the many thousands of passengers we serve. Therefore, we will not be taking forward Coun Bolt’s suggestion to reduce the bus service between his ward and Huddersfield.

"Instead, we have added time into the schedule to make our services more reliable for everyone, whilst continuing to encourage Kirklees Council to make much needed improvements to traffic congestion along the A62.”