People urged to plan journeys as lockdown restrictions relaxed

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is working with operators to ensure as much capacity is available on public transport as possible. However, the need to maintain social distancing will significantly limit the number of people who can travel on each service.

People are being asked to plan their journey carefully ahead of an expected increase in the number of shops and businesses re-opening next week.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is working with operators to ensure as much capacity is available on public transport as possible. However, the need to maintain social distancing will significantly limit the number of people who can travel on each service.

People are being asked to consider whether their journey is necessary and if they could cycle or walk as an alternative. Those who must travel on public transport will need to wear a face covering, are being asked to pay by contactless where possible and advised to leave more time for their journey.

The Combined Authority is carrying out additional cleaning at our bus stations and interchanges and has made modifications to create space to support social distancing. Signs and information are being provided across the bus network to help people maintain social distancing and travel safely.  Older children travelling on school buses will also be required to wear a face covering.

The latest travel information is available via www.wymetro.com and @MetroTravelNews on Twitter.

The Combined Authority is working with other transport authorities to press the Government to agree a long-term plan to fund public transport through the COVID-19 pandemic to maximise capacity and ensure services meet local needs, including through innovative use of small operators, coaches and taxis.

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Lead, said:

“Since the beginning of the pandemic the Combined Authority has been spending over £6 million per month ensuring bus services are available for those who really need them and we continue to work with operators through the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance to maximise the capacity available.

“However, we have made clear to the Government transport authorities need long-term funding to meet the challenges we now face to avoid forcing people into their cars leading to congestion and poorer air quality.”

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“We know that more people will be returning to shops and businesses next week and we are asking them to think carefully about their journey and consider cycling or walking where possible. While we expect around 75% of normal bus and rail services to be running, social distancing means the capacity will only be 20% of normal and we need to make sure that is available for those who really need it.

“It is essential that the reduced capacity on public transport does not lead to the marginalisation of those who depend on it and we need the Government to work with us to ensure those services are available.”