HUDDERSFIELD town centre is looking forward to its own free bus service.

The FreeTownBus, which will link key locations, will be launched on Monday, October 30.

The trial service, operated by Metro and Kirklees Council and costing £120,000, will run every 10 minutes from 7.30am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8.30am to 5.30pm on Saturdays.

FreeTownBus will cover a 1.5-mile route taking in Huddersfield bus and railway stations, the university, the Kingsgate shopping centre and the indoor and outdoor markets.

Two new 32-seat buses with CCTV and disabled access will be used.

Drivers will be given training in the geography and history of the town to provide information for visitors.

Each bus stop will have its own map and a text messaging service to find out when the next bus is due. The pilot scheme will operate for nine months.

If it is successful the service will increase its operating hours, frequency and, possibly, length of route.

Metro chairman Clr Stanley King said: "Metro has set up this trial service following the success of the hugely popular Leeds FreeCityBus which was launched this year and has already transported nearly a million passengers.

"The service has been particularly popular with people who have mobility problems and parents with small children.

"They feel more able to travel into Leeds by train or bus knowing they can then easily use FreeCityBus to get around.

"The service is helping to reduce congestion by removing over 1,500 journeys per week from Leeds roads.

"It is also improving access and health and further contributing to the city's economy.

"I'm sure FreeTownBus will prove to be every bit as popular and beneficial in Huddersfield as its cousin in Leeds," added Clr King

Neale Wallace, Metro's business service development manager, said the service would improve Huddersfield's `interchange' of rail, buses and cars.

He said it would boost tourist and visitor links and showcase the town centre.

Mr Wallace added that the service would make all the town centre accessible within 10 minutes.

During the lead-up to the launch Metro will be distributing 100,000 leaflets about FreeTownBus and organising on-street promotions in Huddersfield town centre.

For more information log on to