There’s light at the end of the tunnel today for the North’s rail passengers – as the region’s leading bus operator plans to offer free travel to train ticket holders during industrial action on the railways.
Local trains will be disrupted on Monday 26th and Thursday 29th March 2018 as a dispute over the role of guards affects Northern rail services.
No local rail services will run beyond early evening – but enterprising bus firm Transdev is offering a solution on two of its premium commuter routes into Leeds and Manchester. On both the affected dates, it will welcome anyone with a valid rail ticket between Harrogate and Leeds, and Leeds and Manchester, to travel on its buses between the same places free of charge.
The free travel offer applies on the 36: Riding Redefined service which runs every 10 minutes between Harrogate and Leeds, and on the Cityzap express service which links Leeds and Manchester directly every hour using the M62 motorway.
The offer means holders of any rail ticket on the two routes – including singles, returns and season tickets – can simply show their train ticket to the bus driver, take a seat and enjoy the journey – while enjoying all the comforts provided on the buses, including fast and free WiFi, USB at-seat power points and comfortable coach seating.
Transdev CEO Alex Hornby said: “We know just how stressful it can be when trains are affected on strike days, and we feel we should do our bit to help commuters make it to work without worrying about how they’re going to get there.
“We go to great efforts to ensure we provide a pleasant and comfortable environment on buses people want to be seen on, and we are sure that rail users will be impressed with what they experience on the 36 and Cityzap.”
The 36: Riding Redefined luxury bus service between Harrogate and Leeds was relaunched in 2016 with an all-new fleet of high specification twin deck vehicles … and as the competing rail service has been affected by continued strike disruption, the bus has been increased to run every 10 minutes – offering three times more departures per hour than the train.
A £750,000 investment in stylish new buses has increased the frequency of the service while providing all the features which have made it such a success, including luxury leather seating on the upper deck in a bespoke designed layout, combining the personal space of a car journey with the relaxing ambience of a premium coach.
Customers on the lower deck enjoy quilted leather seating and a chill-out area, with a workspace for the rear seats, creating a mobile office environment for commuters.
Meanwhile, the Cityzap express bus service between Leeds and Manchester is also growing fast, following a successful launch last November which saw nearly 1,500 people travel on the service in its first week.
The high quality, low fares bus service was extended to the cross-Pennine route following the success of the original award-winning Cityzap service between Leeds and York, which carried a quarter of a million passengers in its first 12 months.
Cityzap is already providing highly competitive on both quality and price, designed to attract commuters from driving or taking the train on one of the most crowded rail services in Britain.
The smart red and silver Cityzap buses whisk passengers between Leeds and Manchester city centres in as little as 75 minutes – comparing favourably with other ways to travel between the two, and with season tickets offering much more for less than half the cost of going by train.
A seven-day season ticket by train between Leeds and Manchester costs up to £79.30 – while a weekly ‘Gold’ season ticket valid not just on Cityzap but also on all Transdev buses across a huge area of Yorkshire and the North West, from Preston to the Yorkshire Coast, costs just £36.
Full timetables for both the 36: Riding Redefined and Cityzap services, plus instant access to best value fare deals and real-time live departure times from all stops on both routes are available via the Transdev Go app, available to download free from the Apple app store and Google Play.