Up to 52% bus usage increase on rail strike days: Transdev

Interurban bus services operated by Transdev Blazefield in Yorkshire saw usage increase by up to 52% during strike action in late June by members of the RMT union employed by rail companies, the operator has reported. 

That headline figure was recorded by Transdev’s Cityzap service between Leeds and York on Thursday 23 June.

Some other daily increases, for both Cityzap and different routes, were over 40%, with the former delivering a 41% rise on Tuesday 21 June. All figures are based on usage before the RMT stoppages began. Limited rail services ran in Yorkshire on all three strike days. 

In addition to Cityzap’s increase, Transdev’s Aireline route between Keighley and Leeds peaked at 44% above the norm while its flagship 36 between Ripon, Harrogate and Leeds delivered a maximum uplift of 30%. 

Says CEO Alex Hornby: “As well as running our full timetable, extra buses were operated on a number of routes across Yorkshire so customers could experience our services in comfort. It is heartening to see people choosing the bus, rather than feeling obliged to stay at home or resort to the car.” 

Mr Hornby adds that the operator’s priority now is to retain as many of those additional customers as possible, with further industrial action among union members in the rail sector likely. On Cityzap, he notes that the brand majors on being a good-value alternative to rail with more convenient stopping places in the centres of Leeds and York. 

Cityzap was launched in 2016 and upgraded to high-specification Alexander Dennis Enviro400 double-deckers that Transdev Blazefield terms Sky Class in 2020. It also has a dedicated team of drivers.