Passengers will hope that years of bus nightmares will be ended when a new operator takes over the Calder Valley routes - but the cost will still be high for some .
This Sunday Bradford-based firm TLC Travel will take over the Hebden Bridger network from First, but Metro has revealed that an agreement is yet to be reached on through-ticketing.
This will mean users will continue to have to pay twice when travelling on journeys split between operators.
Metro chairman Coun James Lewis said: “The bus companies are commercial operations and we are trying to get a resolution.
“While we’re happy with TLC’s maximum single fare of £1.75 and £2.50 all day tickets, what we’re trying to do is press First bus to offer a through-ticketing system to make it simple and easy for passengers and encourage everybody to use buses in Calderdale.”
From Sunday, new services 595, 596, 597, 598, 599 and 901 will replace minibus services A to F, and journeys on services 591 and 593 which have been withdrawn. Services 590 and 592 also have revised routes and timetables. The new network will use fully-accessible buses from the start, and new tickets will be available, as well as the full range of Metro tickets and English National Concessionary Passes.
The maximum single fare will be £1.75, with £2.50 (all day) and £10 (all week) tickets available on both Hebden Bridge and Todmorden networks. Weekly and monthly tickets from other operators will be accepted without additional charge until Sunday, February 2, (weekly) and Sunday, February 23, (monthly), after which they will be accepted on payment of a 75p supplement per journey.
Trish Lambert, a director of TLC, said: “TLC Travel is looking forward to operating bus services in the upper Calder Valley. We have invested in setting up a new local depot at Eastwood and have recruited a large number of excellent drivers.
“During the next few weeks we will take delivery of brand new accessible vehicles which will be used on the Hebden Bridge and Todmorden Minibus Networks. We are confident that we will be able to deliver a first-rate, reliable, customer-focused bus service, like we currently do in other parts of West Yorkshire.”
Calder ward councillor Janet Battye said: “I’m really pleased to see this new service start. TLC come with a reputation of being a bus company that specialises in local buses so this promises well.”
Passengers can pick up the new bus timetables at Hebden Bridge Visitor and Canal Centre, Hebden Bridge Library or Halifax Bus Station. Alternatively, visit www.wymetro.com or call 0113 2457676.