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First in call for ‘Routemasters’
Updated 10:54am Tuesday 20th May 2014 in News
Transport company First has revealed plans to introduce London-style buses in Bradford and the whole of West Yorkshire.
It is proposing to introduce a fleet of Routemaster buses, which would have multi-door entry and exit points including a hop-on and off platform at the rear, free wi-fi and lower emissions.
The proposal – entitled New Bus for West Yorkshire – is an alternative to the New Generation Transport (NGT) trolleybuses proposed for Leeds.
The NGT scheme is being spearheaded by Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority Metro. First has formally objected to the trolleybus scheme.
A spokesman for First said: “In brief, we do not believe that £250 million spent on one trolleybus route in one city in the county is value for money.
“Even for that one route, from all our experience as the major bus operator in Leeds, the business case is not viable.
“The trolleybus proposal is based on outdated technology at a time when we are about to launch fully electric buses in York.
“These come without all the wires and poles required for the trolleybus. Instead, First is proposing that a ‘New Bus for West Yorkshire’ would achieve most of the same benefits but across the whole of West Yorkshire, much sooner and at a fraction of the cost.”
The Routemaster buses would be paid for by First, which said it would also work with local authorities and Metro to identify infrastructure improvements that would tackle congestion.
Metro did not want to comment because of the ongoing public inquiry.
Metro chairman, Councillor James Lewis has previously described First’s proposals as “scant on detail”.
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