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Flat Cap News / All roads lead to Leeds for Yorkshire’s commuters
The Leeds skyline. Picture: Lad 2011/Wikipedia

All roads lead to Leeds for Yorkshire’s commuters

If you commuted to work this morning the chances are you are reading this in Leeds.

The city has been revealed to be Yorkshire’s dominant commuting hotspot with more than 120,000 people travelling from other areas to work there, swelling the weekday population by nearly 55,000 people. In total more than 410,000 people – including 290,000 people who live in Leeds – work in the city.

The recently released figures, compiled by the Office of National Statistics, were recorded on 27th March 2011 during the UK census. They also show large numbers of workers travelling to Hull, Sheffield and York to earn their money.

So where are all these Leeds commuters travelling from?

Nearly four in 10 (more than 47,000 people) are heading east from Bradford and Kirklees with another 21,500 heading north from Wakefield.

These numbers explain why Highways Bosses spent £150m opening up the hard shoulder of the M62 into a running lane.

36,732 people from other areas of Yorkshire also commute to Leeds along with an additional 15,790 people who live outside the county.

All this travelling means that many areas of Yorkshire end-up with significantly larger weekend populations than weekday ones.

Both Kirklees, the local authority covering the Huddersfield area, and the East Riding of Yorkshire lose more than 25,000 people each. Barnsley is also more than 20,000 people down.

This has a big impact on those areas meaning the working population of Kirklees is 167,675, the East Riding has 134,570 workers and Barnsley has 83,384.

Paul Salveson, a transport expert and visiting professor at the University of Huddersfield, told the Huddersfield Examiner the figures demonstrate that Yorkshire needs better public transport if the number of cars on our roads is to decrease.

He said: “People no longer live next to the mill or the mine and are prepared to travel greater distances to work. People will generally look for the cheapest and easiest solution and not the cleanest or greenest mode of transport.

“Commuters will look at congestion, the cost of parking and fuel and want a decent alternative if they are to leave the car at home.

“People want a good quality public transport alternative and I don’t think they have that at the moment.”

The figures, which are available online, also demonstrate some epic commutes to and from Yorkshire.

58 people were recorded as commuting between Leeds and Cornwall, one person travelled between Bradford and Omagh in Northern Ireland and another hardy soul made the regular trek between Sheffield and the Orkney Islands, off the Scottish coast.

There is a full breakdown of the inward, outward and net figures for all the local authorities in Yorkshire below.

Image: The Leeds skyline (Lad 2011/Wikipedia).


My background is in regional newspaper reporting but I'm now mainly involved in online journalism. When I'm not writing I'm a Journalism lecturer at Leeds Trinity University and alongside managing this site I set-up the ltjournalism.com blog which covered the Grand Depart in Yorkshire.

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