City of York Council has confirmed that ftr buses are to be replaced, in line with changes to improve public transport across York. However, the council are yet to produce a definitive timeline for the removal of the buses.
Cabinet member for city strategy Dave Merrett stated: “This is not going to happen tomorrow.”
Merrett was keen to stress the importance of changing the buses, citing complaints from residents of them being: “big, bulky, and intimidating to cyclists.” He went on to state their replacement would be part of a wider improvement to York’s public transport service, aiming to provide “more efficient, lower pollution” vehicles, which would better reflect York’s historic nature.
Although the buses are to be replaced, the company, First Group, will retain control of the popular No. 4 service to the University of York and Acomb. As a result, York City Council will have to wait for ftr to “identify appropriate replacement vehicles” that will meet the requirements desired by the Council.
A spokesperson for York Pullman buses has said there are no plans for an expansion of the Pullman services along that route. He emphasised that Pullman buses “work for the students and for the University.”
The decision not to renew the agreement, between ftr and the council, regarding the use of ftr’s distinctive purple buses was taken in May. It was part of the Labour council’s election manifesto in which they pledged to replace the service, which they labelled a “costly disaster”, after absorbing £1.5 million of public money.
Ftr had provoked criticism in the past from both the student and resident community for its poor record of service and controversial purple “bendy-buses”.
Ftr were unavailable for comment.