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24 July 2009
Secretary of State for Transport Andrew Adonis welcomed a new
£1.8m fleet of brand new buses for Metro's AccessBus service
with Chairman Cllr Ryk Downes, during a visit to Leeds on Friday 24
Cllr Downes showed Andrew Adonis one
of 19 brand new, fully accessible Optare Solo SE vehicles which
Metro has purchased in a major renewal of its AccessBus fleet.
West Yorkshire people unable to easily
use conventional buses use AccessBus's door-to-door service to make
550,000 journeys each year. Most AccessBus trips take service users
to local supermarkets and shopping centres but there are also some
journeys to other locations such as community centres and
Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis
said, "We want older people and those with reduced mobility to have
the same travel opportunities when using public transport as other
members of society.
"Metro's AccessBus service provides an
important lifeline for many people in West Yorkshire, and these new
fully accessible buses will make it even easier for people who are
unable to use conventional bus services to get around."
Cllr Downes said, "Metro has worked
closely with the Yorkshire bus manufacturer Optare to develop the
new vehicles' more flexible layout.
"The new buses are 'kneeling' vehicles
with ramps to make boarding easier and quicker for the many
wheelchair users and people with reduced mobility.
"They also have additional storage
space designed into them which will mean extra room for people's
shopping when returning from trips to the supermarket and the fact
they are slightly narrower and shorter means they could access the
residential streets, where AccessBus clients live."
Metro will be introducing all 19 of
the new AccessBus vehicles by the end of August.