In West Yorkshire, a major campaign was launched on Monday 18th September to encourage people to walk, cycle, or use public transport. This initiative, led by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and West Yorkshire Ticketing Company (WYTC), aims to promote sustainable travel choices. It showcases the ease and variety of alternative options available across the region, while also highlighting the health and financial benefits.

The campaign emphasises the simplified ticketing offers provided by WYTC’s MCard app. This not-for-profit, multi-operator, multi-modal ticketing scheme for West Yorkshire offers convenient journey planning on public transport. It also offers support to help individuals build confidence in walking and cycling, including free adult cycle training.

Ten members of the public from the region are at the forefront of the campaign, sharing their own travel habits and suggesting small changes that can enable more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective travel.

This 12-week campaign is research-driven, with comprehensive data gathered to understand current travel behaviours and people’s attitudes towards the available travel options.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said; “Every trip matters, and everyone makes a difference.

“We want to encourage people to really consider their travel habits and make the right choice for the right journey.

“This campaign aims to do that by using real-life stories from people living within our communities to shine a light on their personal travel tales and how they are making a difference.

“We’re working hard to ensure transport in the region is easy, simple and affordable, making a better-connected West Yorkshire that works for all.”

Richard Armitage, Chair of MCard, said: “Every West Yorkshire household has something to gain here. I urge you to spend more of your transport budget on the bus, the train, walking and cycling.

“This will cut your travel costs overall. If you take our £4.50 MCard DaySaver, it is cheaper than taking your car. It lets you board any bus, gives you unlimited travel in West Yorkshire, and there are no parking fees when you arrive.”

Following the success of the initial ‘Walk It, Ride It’ campaign in Leeds last year, it is now being expanded to cover Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, and Wakefield. The Mayor unveiled the new campaign in Bradford. This campaign will be visible across West Yorkshire on various platforms including social media, direct mail, billboards, digital sites, bus advertising, Spotify promotions, and local radio. It features ten genuine, first-person travel and transport stories from across the region.

These stories include Belle Whiteley from Gilstead near Bingley, who explains why walking is crucial for her due to a visual impairment that prevents her from driving. Patrice Garland from Kirklees shares her positive experience with cycling. Mae Presley and her brother Patrick from Horsforth maximize their unlimited travel for college and outings on the bus. James Thompson from Rodley describes how cycling with his family has a positive impact on their health, well-being, and finances.

This initiative coincides with the launch of the new Leeds e-bike hire scheme, with the first e-bikes now available. The Mayor also introduced several new and more frequent bus services on various routes across the region. The ‘Walk It Ride It’ campaign aligns with the Combined Authority’s Connectivity Plan and supports the Mayor of West Yorkshire’s commitment to addressing the climate emergency.