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Environmentally-Friendly First Bus Named after Leeds Snooker Legend Paul Hunter
Tuesday 1 May 2012
LEEDS snooker legend Paul Hunter has been remembered as his name was unveiled on the side of a new First hybrid-powered bus designed to be kinder to the local environment.
The new diesel-electric hybrid bus was taken to the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield yesterday (Sunday 29th April), where it was unveiled by snooker legends Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor, along with members of Paul’s family.
Paul sadly died of cancer a few years ago and the Paul Hunter Foundation was set up to honour his memory and to raise funds for local Leeds causes. Sunday was Paul Hunter Foundation Day at the world snooker championships and a number of events took place, including the Leeds bus being parked pride of place outside the legendary Crucible theatre.
To mark the introduction of new, diesel-electric hybrid buses on services 7, 7A and 7S to Wigton Moor, Alwoodley and Shadwell, Leeds people were asked to name buses after local heroes who have done good work for Leeds and have helped raise the profile of the city.
And the unanimous choice of many was former Leeds based snooker legend Paul Hunter, who many believe would have gone on to be a world champion if his life had not been cut tragically short.
Chris Lovell, of the Paul Hunter Foundation, said: “I would like to thank First and Metro for giving such a wonderful honour to the memory of Paul’s name.
“Paul was very proud to come from Leeds and it seems very fitting that a bus with his name on will be seen on the streets of Leeds for many years to come.”
Simon Pearson, First's Revenue & Customer Services Development Director, said: "We are delighted to work in partnership with Metro to honour some of Leeds's most famous sons and daughters.
"These new hybrid buses are at the cutting edge of technology in terms of comfort, safety and environmentally-friendliness and therefore it is right and proper they are named after people at the very top of their chosen professions, both past and present, such as Leeds legend Paul Hunter."
Starting in April 2011, major improvements have been taking place to bus services using the A61 guided bus-way on Scott Hall Road, as a result of a partnership between Metro, First and Leeds City Council.
The improvements include the introduction of 22 brand-new diesel-electric hybrid buses that produce 35% lower carbon emissions, are kinder to the environment and are quieter than other vehicles.
The silver double deck buses, which are powered by a combination of diesel and batteries, provide an increase in capacity and will be a major boost for the local environment. The introduction of leather seats will provide increased comfort for passengers. Dubbed the ‘Seven Series’,services 7, 7A and 7S provide a five-minute frequency along common parts of the rout, including the Scott Hall Road guided busway.
In preparation for the arrival of the new vehicles, which are funded from a bid by First to the Department for Transport Green Bus Fund, Metro and Leeds City Council have resurfaced sections of the guideway, made shelter improvements and increased the number of litter bins.
Other buses have been named after such Leeds based legends, both past and present, as Radio One's Chris Moyles, Spice Girl Melanie Brown, Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis, late fund raiser Jane Tomlinson, Leeds United legend Billy Bremner and DJ and fundraiser Sir Jimmy Saville.