The future of transport in West Yorkshire was the theme of the latest Transport Group meeting held by West & North Yorkshire Chamber.
The Chamber heard from representatives of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), including Alex Clarke, who spoke extensively about upcoming plans for bus reform in the region.
During the lockdowns of 2020, bus usage faced a steep decline and has not yet returned to pre-covid levels. MR Clarke spoke of the “urgent need for transformation of local buses”, which the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) will look to put into action with funding secured from the £3bn made available by the Government as part of their National Bus Strategy.
Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, spoke about plans to make transportation in the area more sustainable – modernising the city through developments like the ongoing work to improve the area outside of Leeds Train Station. Hayden also praised the newly implemented city bikes scheme in Leeds, providing a sustainable way for residents to commute or travel for leisure. Although the scheme has faced criticism for being too limited to the city centre, as well as being one of the most expensive city bike schemes for the consumer of any major city within Europe, Councillor Hayden is convinced this scheme will prove successful, allowing it to be spread further into the wider areas of Leeds outside the city centre.
There was also a great deal of discussion around a mass transit plan from the WYCA, more on which will be revealed later in the year.
Overall, this transport forum held by the Chamber provides an optimistic glance at the future of transport infrastructure in the region, and offers schemes that commuters, businesses and individuals can look forward to seeing implemented.