Bus services between hospitals in Huddersfield and Halifax are being improved, thanks to investment by Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin.

A more frequent service linking Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax is part of a package of new routes funded by West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

A new 501 bus will replace the 372 service between Huddersfield and Lindley but will provide a direct link between HRI and Calderdale Royal Hospital. The new services will launch in February.

Mayor Brabin said: “Better bus services are a vital part of my mission for a better-connected West Yorkshire.

“I’m delighted that these new and improved services will be hitting our streets next month – connecting communities, reducing reliance on cars and getting people where they need to go.”

The industry has been affected by changes to post-Covid travel patterns which have hit revenues, leading to operators cutting back on routes and frequencies.

The new bus links between Huddersfield and Halifax town centres, HRI and CRH are in partnership with operator First.

Kayleigh Ingham, commercial director of First West Yorkshire, said: “We are pleased to introduce these service improvements to support customers in Calderdale and Kirklees and those making trips to hospital appointments.

“There will be a revised 501 service together with a new X1 express, both operating to provide eight buses an hour between Halifax and Huddersfield.

“Later evening journeys are also being added to a number of other services, together with timetables changes to improve punctuality and reliability.

“We work closely with the Combined Authority to review the network and these latest enhancements have been achieved through our strong partnership.”

The Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, which meets on Monday January 29, will be asked to release a further £3.2 million of funding from the Combined Authority’s Bus Service Improvement Programme to help deliver the new Huddersfield to Halifax services, as well as a new service in development for parts of Wakefield, which is expected to launch later in the year.

A further round of service enhancements is also planned to be delivered across West Yorkshire in July 2024 – subject to the approval of further funding and procurement.

Halifax to Huddersfield service

Service 503 will be withdrawn and replaced with:

  • Service X1 which will operate more direct (Huddersfield – one stop in Elland – Halifax). There will be scope to also link this into the new Elland station when open. This service will operate every 15 minutes daytime, 30 minutes evenings and Sundays.
  • Service 501 (Huddersfield – Lindley HRI – Elland – West Vale – CRH – Halifax) will operate every 15 minutes daytime/ 30 minutes evenings and Sundays. This service will provide a new direct link between HRI and CRH and also provide the Weatherhill Road area of Huddersfield with a new service.
  • Both services will co-ordinate between Halifax and CRH to provide a service every 7/8 minutes.
  • Service 501 will replace the 372 service between Huddersfield and Lindley.

The Combined Authority will fund the new services at a reducing rate for the first three years, with First agreeing to take the commercial risk in years four and five, with the aim of making them financially sustainable in the longer term.