There are a range of accessible transport options to support the mobility needs of those with physical or sensory disabilities.
The Useful links section on this page contains various links to Metro's website offering further information on accessible travel across West Yorkshire.
Travel by bus (public services)
Many of the buses running in West Yorkshire are low floor, easy access buses that include ramps, and the majority have a dedicated area for wheelchair users. In addition, many of the bus stops across West Yorkshire feature raised kerbs, making getting onto the bus easier and simpler for wheelchair users and people with physical disabilities. Several bus stations around West Yorkshire offer variable height ticket counters, accessible toilets, and a highly visible staff presence to assist passengers.
Recognised assistance dogs (including assistance dogs in training) are allowed to travel for free on buses.
West Yorkshire Metro and larger bus companies like First and Arriva offer Travel Assistance Cards to help disabled and older people use public transport. The cards let the bus driver know about any requirements you may have when getting on the bus.
Travel by AccessBus
AccessBus is a dial-a-ride bus service providing door-to-door local transport, seven days a week between 9am and 5pm. It is of particular benefit to people who are unable to use standard bus services, as the driver assists passengers during their journey, including boarding and alighting. The buses are fully accessible, fitted with seatbelts and the most up-to-date wheelchair restraints.
Travel on the AccessBus is restricted to local journeys only. Most trips are for shopping purposes, such as to the local supermarket or shopping centre, but they also provide a limited number of journeys for social purposes, e.g. to local community centres, places of worship, visiting family and friends, etc.
Travel by train
Garforth Station has staff present, and there is a ramp to the Leeds-bound platform. Access to Platform 1 (York-bound) is via a footbridge or stepped access from the road and is therefore unsuitable for wheelchair users.
East Garforth station has ramped access onto both platforms but there is no staff presence.
At Leeds Station there is lift or level access to all platforms and Journey Care assistance is available prior to travel via the relevant train operating company e.g. TransPennine Express and Northern.
Different train operators can accommodate wheelchairs of different sizes so it is best to check before you travel. All train companies operating in West Yorkshire offer assistance to people with disabilities or restricted mobility. Most travel assistance must be booked over the phone at least 24 hours in advance with the operator you intend to travel with.
A variety of concessionary travel passes are available to blind and disabled people. These passes offer free or reduced fare travel at certain times of the day on buses and trains in West Yorkshire. If you are unable to travel conveniently alone, you may also be able to obtain a special pass entitling a companion to the same concessions when travelling with you within West Yorkshire.
Travel by taxi
Leeds City Council holds a list of taxis that are WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicles). This list is updated weekly, and these vehicles are obliged by law to:
- Transport wheelchair users in their wheelchair
- Provide passengers in wheelchairs with appropriate assistance
- Charge wheelchair users the same as non-wheelchair users.
Blue badge parking
A blue badge will help you to park on-street close to your destination, either as a passenger or a driver for free. It may also allow you to park for free in car parks. However, always check local signs to see if there are specific other rules. You are not allowed to park in pedestrianised areas, in bus or cycle lanes, on pedestrian crossings, on zigzag markings or in suspended parking bays. You are also not allowed to park in a location where your vehicle would be obstructive or cause a danger to others, such as on a pavement.
The blue badge scheme is recognised throughout the UK and the European Union, and you need a new one every three years. You can find out more on the blue badge page of the Leeds City Council website.
Children with special educational needs or disability (SEND), certain other medical conditions or with a parent with a disability may be eligible for assistance with school transport. Go to the school transport for children with SEND page of the Leeds City Council website to find out more.
Leeds City Council also offers independent travel training for young people aged 5 to 24 who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP), or are currently undergoing an assessment for an EHCP. It seeks to allow a young person to learn to travel by themselves on public transport to and from school or college with the help of their own dedicated Travel Buddy.