Transdev Blazefield to end Cityzap brand in November

Cityzap service between Leeds and York to be withdrawn by Transdev Blazefield

Transdev Blazefield will bring its Cityzap express service brand to an end when the route between Leeds and York is withdrawn after 19 November. 

The operator says that the rate of post-pandemic customer return on Cityzap – as low as 50% in recent months – lags well behind that seen on some other services, where it is as high as 110%. That subdued performance is thanks to lower commuter volumes and the ongoing industry-wide problem of reduced concessionary usage, the business says. The two factors have had “a profound impact” on Cityzap, although the route has carried over 1m passenger journeys since launch. 

In addition, rising fuel and energy costs, and fewer discretionary trips, have had a further effect. “This could not have been anticipated when we introduced Cityzap in 2016, nor as we moved beyond the pandemic, but [it] is the reality we must now respond to,” Transdev Blazefield adds. 

Members of the team involved in delivering Cityzap “will all continue to have secure jobs” with the business. The withdrawal has no effect on Coastliner services that run between Leeds and York.

The five high-specification ‘Sky Class’ Alexander Dennis Enviro400 double-deckers used on Cityzap – delivered in December 2020 in a £1.4m investment – will be removed from the service ahead of its cessation in preparation for redeployment elsewhere. 

That will see them move to routes X98 and X99 between Leeds and Wetherby, which Transdev Blazefield will commence on 2 October after withdrawal by First West Yorkshire. Transdev is currently advertising for drivers for those services with the offer of a £3,000 welcome bonus for existing holders of a category D licence.

“This means that the significant investment in these Sky Class high specification buses will not be wasted, as we seek to maintain elements of our vision that the demand for fast travel into our key cities is there,” a spokesperson has told routeone.

The Cityzap brand was also used for a short-lived service between Leeds and Manchester via the M62 motorway, which ended in the second half of 2018.