Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Sunday, 17 May 2009 16:32 UK

Bus company plans to cut services

First bus
First Bus plans a 6% cut in services mainly at weekends and evenings.

The travel company First says it plans to make a 6% cut in its bus services across West Yorkshire from mid-July.

The announcement has led to claims that some communities could be isolated and passengers will be inconvenienced.

Chris Greaves, Chairman of West Yorkshire Metro, said more people would use cars at a time when the government was pushing public transport.

First said it had to structure its business to meet the demand of its customers in the current climate.

Mr Greaves added there was no justification for the cuts, which would also put other people off using the buses.

"People will not use the bus if it doesn't provide the right service at the right price and at the right time," he said.

Most of the cuts are planned for evenings and weekends but Metro says that could mean that 14% of passengers will desert the network completely.

Dave Alexander, Managing Director of First in West and North Yorkshire said: "In some areas of West Yorkshire, and on some routes, we are seeing a decline in the number of people using our services and therefore we have to make changes so as to maintain the commercial viability of these services.

"During the last 12 months First invested in excess of £35m in its business in the region and has committed to a further £12m in the current year.

"We have sent our proposals to Metro well in advance of any changes."

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