End of the line for Black Prince

THE Black Prince bus company is to become a thing of the past after being sold off to First Bus.

The last Black Prince services will leave the Morley depot on July 31 with First Bus taking over the network with widespread route and timetable changes coming into effect from August 1.

Planning permission is in place for the Fountain Street depot, which has been home to Black Prince for 12 years, to be pulled down to make way for flats and a supermarket.

After a meeting between Morley councillors and representatives of First Bus and Metro, an outline account has been released of the new routes, which will replace Black Prince's Morley services.

Summaries of the changes to the new timetable include;

*Black Prince X49/X51/54. Morley - Leeds - Ireland Wood will be replaced by First Bus 51/51a Moor Allerton - Leeds - M621 - Morley Town Hall - Fountain Street - Tingley Mills - Morley Town Hall. Everyday and every seven minutes Monday to Saturday daytime.

*Black Prince 53. Amblers Mill - Morley - Leeds - Meanwood will be cut back at each end to run as First Bus 53 Leeds Bus Station - Morley Town Hall and Glen Estate. Half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes.

First Bus 55. Leeds - Holbeck - Morley Town Hall will be extended to Fountain Street - Tingley Mills - Morley Town Hall loop. Half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes.

*Black Prince 87. Morley to Leeds - Halton Moor will be cut back as First Bus 87 Morley Town Hall - Churwell - White Rose - Middleton - Leeds. Alternate journeys run as 87a serving Westwood Side. Combined services half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes.

*Black Prince 420/421. Morley - Gildersome will be replaced by extension of First Bus 46 Leeds - White Rose - Morley - Gildersome. This will give Gildersome a direct link to the White Rose. Half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes.

Black Prince 424. Westwood Side - Morley - Thorpe - East Ardsley will be replaced by First Bus new service 85 Morley Town Hall - East Ardsley Bay Horse - Thorpe extended through Middleton, Belle Isle and Hunslet to Leeds Bus Station. Half Hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes.

Common Lane at East Ardsley would not be covered.

Coun Tom Leadley (Ind, Morley South) the town's representative on West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority (Metro) said: "Most of the old links have been kept with some new once, such as Gildersome to the White Rose. "There is no longer a direct link from Morley to St James' Hospital but the present 87 service does take an extremely long time to get there and there are services from Leeds Bus Station or Eastgate to the hospital every few minutes.

"Common Lane at East Ardsley would be without buses at all. I suggested running alternate journeys of the new 85 service along Common Lane as 85s, but First were unwilling to do this because of the small number of passengers,

"Except for some evening and Sunday journeys of the 51/51a, the First Bus Morley network will be fully commercial and without direct Metro subsidy."