While Leeds does not have the underground system of London or Newcastle, or a dedicated overground tram service similar to nearby Sheffield, the truth is that it simply doesn’t need it. With so many routes covered by local transport authorities and companies, as well having an easier-to-navigate geographical layout compared to other locations across the UK, you’ll have absolutely no problems when getting around in the city.
Leeds’ biggest asset is its dedicated bus links, which connect all corners of the city to its heart, where shops and bars galore await bored travellers. In order of dominance in Leeds, First Buses, Stagecoach, Arriva and Geldards provide a shared service that runs through the city. Every street in the city centre is covered with ease between the three, though people not leaving the central business district will find the CityBus service to be the cheapest option. It charges 50p per journey and runs between major areas of Leeds including the university, Headrow, Merrion Centre and Leeds General Infirmary.
If you’re unsure of which bus to get, check the website on the move or visit Leeds Bus Station, situated at the east end of the Headrow close to the West Yorkshire Playhouse. It also doubles as a nexus for National Express, meaning you can arrive on a coach and take the bus to anywhere in the city. Staying for a week? Buy yourself a FirstWeek Green for £12 (operating within Green boundaries) or a FirstWeek West Yorkshire for £18.50, valid for any trips in the county.
Acting as the other major centre for transport in and out of the city is Leeds Train Station. Leeds’ central location in the UK offers travellers a cheaper way to access nearby cities, though people staying in Leeds also have a dedicated network of local stations that make more direct trips to closer areas that little bit easier. First TransPennine Express makes it very easy getting to and from Leeds from surrounding areas such as York, Newcastle, Manchester Airport, Liverpool and many more.
Naturally, taxi ownership is high in Leeds, being the fourth-biggest city in the UK. While rates vary between cab firms, the difference is minimal; you can travel two or three miles and not really be expected to pay more than £7, meaning that long walk home after a night out just got more affordable. Amber Cars is perhaps the best-known provider of cabs and the company will text you before your taxi arrives to keep you in the loop. Other top companies operating in and around Leeds include Arrow, Streamline Telecabs, Premier Cabs and City Cabs, while plenty of pick-up points offer a variety of independent licensed Hackney drivers at other hubs of transport, such as the train and bus station.
Last but not least is general access by car. While Leeds has a one-way system that may confuse first-time visitors, it is easy to master. What’s more, it’s easy to get right into the heart of Leeds via the Inner Ring Road, while satellite towns and village are linked by the extensive Outer Ring Road. Even at rush hour, driving in Leeds is not a major hassle; traffic has never really garnered widespread complaints, unlike Manchester or London.
Whichever route you take, make sure you check the web and word-of-mouth to find the best ways to get around for your purpose. Don’t worry, either way – Leeds’ friendly transport network will always have your back.