Furious bus passengers held a protest at the proposed move to an hourly bus for one of their area's key services.

Over 40 regulars on the 680 bus service gathered outside the Lunch Monkey Cafe, in Highgate, near to the Highgate Heaton Road bus stop.

Protestors are demanding that the current half hourly service is kept beyond the imminent bus service changes on Sunday, which will see the 680 run every hour instead.

The 680 follows a key route for people getting to and from Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) from Heaton and as far out as Bingley.

It also provides access in and out of Bradford city centre, as well as running through Manningham and Cottingley.

Councillor Mohammad Shabbir (Lab, Heaton) said a lot of elderly people in Heaton rely on the service to go to town.

He said: “The 680 is the main one that connects town through Highgate to the village itself. The changes are not acceptable and we’re fully behind the residents for wanting it to remain.”

The protestors made their stand at around 11am on Saturday, armed with signs. One read: “Where’s the 680? going going gone” and another said “680, where are you?”

A spokesperson for those present said: “To make matters worse on Saturday, the passengers waited to greet the scheduled 11.05 bus – and waited, and waited and waited.

“No show. No bus at a time when the operators, First Bus, say they are wanting to improve reliability.”

This comes only five months after a separate change to the 680 service riled locals.

In May, the operation of the service was split between First Bus and Yorkshire Tiger, with the latter taking over running of evening buses and weekend services.

Yorkshire Tiger now runs the service from the 6:31pm bus onwards, but May’s changes led to the axing of the late night 10:40pm bus, now finishing at 9:31pm instead.

Two companies sharing the service also means a First Day ticket is no longer valid on Yorkshire Tiger’s evening service.

The October shake-up will see Yorkshire Tiger also drop its 680 frequency to a bus every hour rather than every half hour.

Cllr Shabbir said: “It’s going to impact people. It could be an hour wait for a bus and if they miss that it’s another hour. Sometimes they don’t turn up so it could be up to two hours waiting for a bus.

“It’s just not practical. First Bus might then argue that it’s not being used and could look into getting rid of it - it’s happened in other areas. An hourly service doesn’t do it justice.”

Passengers in the Heaton area also feel aggrieved as they’ve worked hard to help maintain the 680 service.

Most recently, they pushed Bradford Council to install more double yellow lines to allow the bus to run more smoothly along its designated route.

Paul Matthews, Managing Director of First West Yorkshire, said: “We are committed to providing reliable and affordable bus services across Bradford and we have worked hard to ensure that all network connections remain in place and that nobody will be left without a bus service in their local area.”