First Bradford has celebrated the completion of a £2.5m investment in low emission vehicles by naming the latest new bus after well known and respected bus driver Leo Shackleton.
The new vehicle, which will run on the 620 Haworth Road – Bierley circular, is the 12th and last bus of an investment in new single deck buses recently introduced into the area. The first eleven were named after local “champions” including Professor David Sharpe OBE, a specialist plastic surgeon and part of the team supporting those injured in the Bradford City football ground fire in 1985, and speedway legends, Erik Gundersen and Per Jonsson who both won World Championships at Odsal Stadium.
The idea to name the bus after bus driver Leo Shackleton came from his grandchildren following his sad passing in January this year. Born in 1951, on Ashfield Road, Leo joined the bus company in 1972 driving routes across Bradford before retiring in 2013 after over 40 years service. Leo was very popular at work and well known in the Thornton area with a large family including 4 children, 2 stepchildren, 18 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren and wife Deborah whom he married in 2003.
The StreetLite single deck vehicles bring significant benefits for customers with each bus fitted with luxury seating and Wi-Fi providing free internet access during the journey. In addition to the dedicated space for wheelchair users, the bus provides extra space for customers using push-chairs. The new vehicles also have a positive impact on air quality supporting Bradford Council’s aims to tackle air pollution through a reduction in emissions and cutting congestion by attracting people out of cars. The buses, manufactured by Wrights Group based in Northern Ireland, are all fitted with Euro 6 engines and are Department for Transport ‘low carbon certified’, making them amongst the most fuel efficient buses on the market.
Colin Brushwood, Operations Manager for First Bradford, said: “We’re delighted to name our buses after people and organisations that have had such a big impact on our local community. With over 40 years serving the communities of Bradford, Leo was very well respected by colleagues and customers and this is a fitting tribute.”
“We’re also very pleased to complete this investment of over £2m in low emission, luxury buses which is great news for our customers and underlines our continuing determination to provide ever better bus services in our area and encourage more people to travel by bus.”
Deborah Shackleton added, “It was a great idea by the grandchildren to name one of these super new buses after Leo. He was proud to work on the buses for so many years and I’m really grateful for everything First Bradford have done.”