Bradford residents could soon be boarding a free city centre shuttle bus.

A report which recommends a long-awaited six-month trial of Metro's FreeCityBus service will go before Bradford Council's decision-making executive body next week.

Senior councillors decided to delay discussions on the free pilot scheme six months ago, claiming that the city's regeneration had not progressed far enough.

But now, all that is needed is for the report to be rubber-stamped by the Council's executive when it meets on Monday.

The report, drafted by the assistant director of planning, states: "It is considered that the case for implementation of a FreeCityBus service in Bradford has strengthened since the report to Executive on July 10.

"Therefore it is recommended that a trial service is established in the third quarter of 2008."

According to the, report regional transport authority Metro would fund a fleet of three buses to cover a proposed city centre route of just over three miles long for a period of six months.

A draft route has been tested and was found to take 25 minutes to complete.

The route connects Bradford Interchange, Forster Square station and retail park, Kirkgate shopping centre, the markets, the university and college and the National Media Museum.

People could catch the bus between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday, and 8.30am to 5.30pm on Saturdays.

There would be space for 46 passengers per bus, with 31 seated and 15 standing, with one space for wheelchair users.

The report recommends that at the end of the trial period, the Executive should consider the service's level of success to decide whether it should be extended.

It is likely to cost the Council more than £100,000 a year to run the shuttle service in Bradford if the trial is successful.

The Council would have to meet 50 per cent of its running costs, with Metro making up the rest, on a five-year contract.

The report suggest that third party funding would then be sought to ease the financial burden which would be on the Council.

In a statement, Councillor Anne Hawkesworth, the Council's executive member for environment and culture, was upbeat about the proposal for the bus running in the city centre.

She said: "A FreeCityBus would really complement the amount of regeneration work planned for the city centre and it is something we will have to consider carefully.

"Post-trial services have been successful in three areas of West Yorkshire since 2006, so it appears there is a lot of potential."

Metro's FreeCityBus service already operates in Leeds, Huddersfield and Wakefield where passenger numbers exceeded their targets with a few weeks and have continued to do so since.