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Just four months after its launch, Wakefield's MetroConnect
FreeCityBus has already carried over 100,000 passengers.
Passenger numbers for the hugely popular Wakefield MetroConnect
FreeCityBus grew very quickly and the service exceeded its targets
within a couple of weeks of its 23 April launch. Last week
passenger numbers passed the 100,000 mark.
Developed by Metro in partnership with Wakefield
Council, the fleet of three low-floor, 29-seat single-deck
FreeCityBuses run every ten minutes from 7.30am to 7.00pm Monday to
Friday and from 8.30am to 5.00pm on Saturdays.
The 2.7 mile route's 12 stops link key locations around
Wakefield City Centre including the city's Westgate and Kirkgate
train stations, the bus station, shops and retail parks, the
Ridings Centre, Ings Road and the Cathedral and Westgate Retail and
"We knew there was a strong need for a Wakefield FreeCityBus,"
said Metro Chairman, Cllr Ryk Downes, 'it quickly become a
well-liked and recognisable feature of the Wakefield Cityscape and
having carried over 100,000 passengers in such a short space of
time proves just how important and popular the service is."
"The FreeCityBus provides an ideal, free link to key parts of
the city centre for local people and visitors arriving in or
passing through Wakefield by train, bus or coach, including parts
of the city not previously accessible by public transport and
reducing the need for them to bring their cars into the city
centre'. Continued Cllr Downes.
"The service is particularly helpful for people who have
mobility problems, and parents with small children, who can now
travel into Wakefield by train or bus knowing they can then easily
use FreeCityBus to get around."
"This trial service was set up with Wakefield Council following
the success of Metro's hugely popular Leeds
FreeCityBus and the Huddersfield FreeTownBus,"
said Metro Chairman, Cllr Ryk Downes.
"FreeCityBus is one of several exciting transport opportunities
in the pipeline for Wakefield District," continued Councillor
Downes. "Plans for our £14.5m Castleford Interchange, which
will bring together the town's bus and rail stations in a
state-of-the-art facility have been approved and construction is
expected to start next year. And Network Rail has earmarked a
£1.4m contribution to the redevelopment of Wakefield Westgate
Leader of Wakefield Council, Councillor Peter Box, said, "the
FreeCityBus is another example of the renaissance of Wakefield and
just one of many improvements linking three major regeneration
schemes in Westgate, Trinity Walk and the waterfront."
Margaret Wood, Chair of first - the Wakefield District
Development Agency, commented, "This is a fantastic achievement for
everyone concerned, with the FreeCityBus helping to open up new
opportunities for those who live, work and play here. Transport has
already and will continue to play a major role in the success of
the District and is one of the factors that saw Wakefield named
'Britain's Best Small City for Business' (OMIS Research 2006)."
Details of the Wakefield FreeCityBus service,
including a downloadable map of the route.