VACCINATION TRANSPORT PLAN: WYCA lays out measures
As the mass vaccination programme rolls out, The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has announced several important measures to assist local people in getting to community vaccination centres by public transport, including the introduction of free travel to vaccination appointments for concessionary bus pass holders.
Four larger community vaccination centres for West Yorkshire have been confirmed at Leeds Elland Road Stadium, Jacobs Well, Bradford, John Smith’s Stadium Huddersfield and Wakefield’s Spectrum Community Healthcare CIC together with smaller sites throughout the region.
With effect from 8 February, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority will put the following in place:
- Concessionary Travel: Rules around concessionary travel will be relaxed, as holders of free bus passes (issued to older and disabled people) will be able to travel free on public transport before 9.30am if they are going to or from a coronavirus vaccination appointment. Pass holders will be asked to show their appointment letters, texts or emails to the bus driver. Concessionary Travel Passes can be used after 9.30am weekdays and all day at weekends and public holidays.
- Wayfinding: There will be additional signage directing people to the main vaccination centres at the nearby bus stations
Additional and adapted services will start at the following locations:
- Leeds: The Elland Road Park & Ride service will operate with buses at least every 10 minutes between Boar Lane in the City Centre and the vaccination centre. A new bus stop close to the centre will be provided.
- Huddersfield: A regular shuttle bus operating between Huddersfield Bus Station, the Rail Station and John Smiths Stadium
- Wakefield: The route of the Wakefield Free City Bus has been altered to serve Spectrum Community Healthcare CIC providing links every 10 minutes from Wakefield Westgate and Kirkgate rail stations and Wakefield Bus Station.
Cllr Kim Groves, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said:
“It is vital that everyone is able to attend their vaccination appointment. Many people will travel to their appointment using public transport, and the Combined Authority want to help them to get to their vaccination appointment safely and on time. We need to make this as easy as possible for people, which is why we have relaxed the rule so that concessionary pass holders can travel before 9.30am if they have an early appointment to get a jab. We are also providing links between city/ town centres and the community vaccination centres, and our bus and rail operators continue to implement high standards of cleaning and social distancing to ensure journeys are as safe as we can make them.”
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority are asking passengers to wait to be invited by the NHS before travelling to the vaccination centres and not to make other non-essential journeys. Other public transport services are available for those who need it, but capacity is limited and passengers should reduce journeys, allow extra time and consider the time of day they travel. Passengers should also follow social distancing guidelines, wear a face covering, pay by contactless or through mobile apps and check their journey before setting off.
For planning a journey to your vaccination appointment or travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic visit wymetro.com
Words: Metro, West Yorkshire Combined Authority
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