BRADFORD councillors have criticised the decision to withdraw two bus services in the district.

The 670 service between Bradford and Leeds via Greengates and the 623 from Bradford to Priestthorpe via Bingley are both being withdrawn by First.

Coun Geoff Reid (Lib Dem, Eccleshill) says that the plans to axe the 670 service will leave many people in his ward without an easy link to Leeds - but with a link to West Bowling and Bradford instead.

FULL LIST: See all the bus service changes coming to the Bradford district this month

Coun Reid said he was “bitterly disappointed” by changes which will see the 670 being partly replaced by a new service 35, giving a bus every half hour through the day Mondays to Saturdays between Greengates and Leeds.

But those people in Thorpe Edge, Idle, Ecclehill and Undercliffe will lose their direct service to Leeds.

Meanwhile Councillor David Heseltine (Con, Bingley) said the end of the 623 would leave some people in the lurch.

He said: "Older people rely on the bus to get out and about. First Bus have made continual changes over the last few years which have had a detrimental effect on services to Bingley residents.

"We are being asked to use public transport yet services are been curtailed. It is time Metro delivered services people in Bingley will use."

He admitted other bus services went into Bingley from Gilstead but said unless bus services were easy to use, people wouldn't switch from using their cars.

The changes are among a whole list of timetable amendments that are being introduced by Metro at the end of October.

Coun Reid added: “Residents in Eccleshill, Undercliffe and Idle will find it very strange when they discover that we have lost a direct service to Leeds but gained a service to West Bowling.

“There will be a ‘missing link’ between Thorpe Edge and the Redcar Road turning circle in Greengates, so passengers will not even have the option of changing buses in Greengates to get to Calverley, Kirkstall and Leeds.

"These bus timetable changes make it even more urgent for better bus links to Apperley Bridge Rail Station from Idle and Eccleshill.

"We must also get on with the much needed improvements to Greengates Junction both of which would help people to travel to Leeds without having to go via Barkerend Road or Bradford Interchange.”

First said the vast majority of the 623 route will be covered by existing services 622 and 624. The section of the 623 in Bingley around Priestthorpe Lane and Mornington Road will be covered by the 615 and 616 services. Customers who currently use the 623 to connect directly with Shipley will need to change onto other connecting regular services such as the 622 or 624 on Main Street.

It said the 670 service would be replaced by new service 671 between Bradford and Thorpe Edge (hourly) and new service 35 between Greengates and Leeds (every half hour). These are in line with the same frequencies as provided currently.

Martin Hirst, First West Yorkshire’s commercial director, said: “These alterations follow a review of the network in line with changes in both our schools operation and evening/Sunday tenders. In some cases we have looked carefully at a number of routes with low passenger use and although this only affects a very small number of journeys, we have had to balance the level of service with passenger demand.

"In the case of the 670, the changes are largely driven by the inconsistent reliability across the route despite regular timetable improvements in recent years. Although we recognise that this means a change for some customers in direct connectivity, we are confident that the new services will be significantly more reliable.

“Our aim is to ensure connections are available through network links, such as to places of work, as well as to secure the long term future of the Bradford bus service. This will put us in a stronger position to build on recent successes, such as contactless ticketing and our employer engagement programme, and grow the number of people using bus services.”