Now that we’re all venturing out a little more, this travel information will come in very handy indeed…
Leeds city centre is open for business, so whether you’re returning to work, planning a shopping spree or nipping to the pub, you need to know how to get in and out of the city. The good news is, it’s easy – buses, trains and taxis have all started to return to normal, but this could be the perfect time to embrace a more active lifestyle by walking or cycling into town. Whatever you choose, we’ve got the need-to-know information. Welcome #BacktoLeeds!
You’re less likely to catch the virus outside, so walking is one of the safest ways to get in and around Leeds. It’s also easier to maintain social distancing because you have the space to move around each other, especially now that Leeds City Council has brought in new measures. They’ve introduced a new 20mph zone around the city centre and widened the pavements on Mill Hill, Call Lane, New York Street, New Briggate, St Paul’s Street and Great George Street.
Cycling is just as good as walking – in fact, if you’re travelling longer distances, it’s probably better, because you’ll reach your destination faster. Leeds has a series of established cycle routes into the city centre, as well as a cycle superhighway between Bradford and Leeds, but we’re also getting a series of pop-up cycle schemes to make biking into the city easier. Kirkstall Road will be the first, but they have ambitious plans to install 100 kilometres of trial cycling routes along Scott Hall Road, Harrogate Road, Roundhay Road, Roseville Road and the A660. There’s also free, secure bike parking at Trinity Leeds and a new bike hub at Kirkgate Market where you can loan a bike, get advice or park up for the day.
Travelling by car is quick and easy, but there are a few things you need to know before you plan your journey. You should expect more cyclists and pedestrians on the streets, especially at peak times – try to maintain social distancing as much as possible, limit the time you spend in petrol stations and sanitise your hands every time you exit or re-enter your vehicle. Most city centre car parks are now open, with the exception of Leeds Train Station, and they have offers aplenty. You can get a three hour shopping pass for just £6 at Q-Parks, which includes The Light & St John’s. Victoria Gate offers evening parking from 5pm to 6am for just £3. Or why not park up at CitiPark Leeds Dock, where you can pre-book 12 hours of parking for just £5?
Bus travel is no longer restricted to essential journeys, so you can jump on board whenever you need to. First Bus is running a reduced timetable across Leeds. In order to enable social distancing, they’re only using one-in-two seats and these are clearly marked on the bus. The reduced capacity means buses fill up faster, so you should leave extra time in case you can’t get the bus you planned for. First Bus are busiest in the middle of the day, so try to travel in the morning or late afternoon. Also, please remember that face coverings are now mandatory (*exceptions apply).
Every effort has been made to make train travel safe, so whether you’re going to work or indulging in a little retail therapy, you can get where you need to go. Northern Rail is running reduced services , so plan your journey in advance and avoid peak times if you can. Social distancing measures are in place at the station and on the trains with markers to tell you where to stand and sit. They’re no longer selling tickets on trains, so you’ll need to buy before you travel. Also, please remember that face coverings are now mandatory (*exceptions apply).
Now that the city’s nightlife is returning to normal, you’ll need your usual taxi home, and you’ll be happy to know they’re running as usual. From private hire to black and whites, they’ve brought in a raft of new measures to keep you safe. Protective screens, regular cleaning routines and pre-ride safety advice like hand sanitising before and after your ride, will help you travel with confidence. Please remember that face coverings are now mandatory (*exceptions apply).
Top tips for using public transport
- Don’t travel if you or someone you live with has a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss of/change in your normal sense of smell or taste
- Travel off-peak and avoid the busiest times of day
- Try to stay 2 metres away from other passengers
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before and after your journey
- Be careful not to touch your face while you travel
- Wear a face covering in the station and on public transport
- Buy your tickets in advance or pay with contactless
- Avoid physical contact and try to face away from other people