Older people in Leeds and West Yorkshire can now use free bus passes at any time

Older passengers and others with free bus passes can now use them at any time of day after transport bosses in West Yorkshire lifted restrictions.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) said the move was designed to help older people get to shops and supermarkets earlier in the day.

Restrictions on the use of concessionary bus passes have been lifted for the next month to help elderly people access shops and supermarkets earlier in the day.

Restrictions on the use of concessionary bus passes have been lifted for the next month to help elderly people access shops and supermarkets earlier in the day.

Read more: West Yorkshire bus and train service changes due to coronavirus

It made the announcement as it moved to assure key workers and those needing to make essential trips that bus and train services would continue to operate, although most would now run on weekend timetables.

Coun Kim Groves, who chairs the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “While many people will be working from home in the coming weeks, we know that public transport remains essential for key workers and others who need access to shops and services.

“The measures being taken by rail and bus operators are designed to make services as resilient and reliable as possible and get people where they need to be. It is also important school bus services remain available for those children who will continue to attend."

Non-essential journeys are being discouraged as part of efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus, officially known as Covid-19.

But WYCA said it was working with operators to ensure a resilient public transport service remained in operation, particularly for key workers.

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Public transport users are being urged to regularly check travel information as the network prepares to move to new timetables.

Bus operators are expecting to introduce emergency timetables from Monday. These will mostly be operating weekend timetables with some additional services and journeys.

Rail operators are developing plans allowing them to offer a dependable service for those that need to travel, but some services are being cancelled due to staff availability.

Customers should check wymetro.com and @metrotravelnews on Twitter for the latest information before they travel.

WYCA said it will continue to arrange school bus services from Monday so that children of key workers can attend in line with Government guidelines.

And people with free bus passes will be able use them all day every day until Friday, April 17.

Coun Groves said: “We are pleased to be able to introduce flexibility on concessionary travel but would urge those passengers to follow social-distancing guidelines."

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