West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its partners have picked up a National Transport Award for the Travel2Train programme.
Travel2Train has enabled over 800 young people in West Yorkshire to take up apprenticeship training by providing them with free public transport travel passes and MCards or a free, recycled bike and cycling equipment. It was made possible by a successful bid to the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund by the Combined Authority. The scheme, which won the Awards’ ‘Partnership’ category, was delivered in partnership with 93 West Yorkshire training providers through the Leeds City Region Apprenticeship Programme.
Responding to the win, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chair Cllr Peter Box said: “Providing our young people with access to the apprenticeships and training that will give them access to good-quality jobs is one of our key aims but research shows that the cost of travel can often be a barrier to them taking up the places.
“I am delighted therefore that through Travel2Train, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its partners have helped over 800 young people take up apprenticeships by providing them with MCards or recycled bikes and that this success has been recognised at the National Transport Awards.”
West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Chair Cllr Keith Wakefield said: “Apprentices are often required to travel to their workplace or training provider during the course of a usual week, which can involve travel across West Yorkshire.
“Through Travel2Train we have been able to help them meet the cost of this travel, connecting them with opportunities for their futures while helping develop a workforce that has the right skills to enable local businesses to grow and create jobs.”
Combined Authority Managing Director Ben Still said: “Creating more and better apprenticeships is a key focus of the Leeds City Region Employment and Skills Plan and I’m delighted that our Travel2Train programme is enabling more young people to access apprenticeships as a pathway to a rewarding career.
“This award is well-deserved recognition of West Yorkshire Combined Authority and our partners’ hard work and is a great example of how we are combining our transport and economic services to make a difference to people in our region.”
Feedback from young people who receive support from Travel2Train showed that 14% of them would not have been able to start their apprenticeship without Travel2Train. Over 80% planned to continue to use buses and trains after Travel2Train with 52% planning to buy a weekly or monthly ticket.
As well as providing young people with the means to access apprenticeships, Travel2Train also supported young people who were at risk of having to leave their apprenticeship, due to financial hardship. Applications through the programme were processed and sent to the applicant’s home address within 48 hours ensuring young people could start or continue with their apprenticeships without delay.
Businesses in the Leeds City Region can find out more about how the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will work with them to develop their workforces’ skills and expertise, through bespoke training or taking on an apprentice through the LEP website (opens in new window).
Apperley Bridge Station was highly commended in the Awards’ ‘Rail Station of the Year’ category. Opened in December 2015, Apperley Bridge Station was used by over 51,000 in the first six months from opening and the car park has been at 85% capacity. Passengers using the station to transfer from private car to rail have helped alleviate traffic congestion and reduce emissions on the busy commuter route between Bradford and Leeds.
Along with the new station at Kirkstall Forge, which opened in June this year, Apperley Bridge Station was part of a £15.9m Rail Growth Package approved by the Department for Transport in May 2014.
Two trains per hour between Leeds and Bradford Forster Square, call at Apperley Bridge in each direction, Monday to Saturday daytime and hourly on Sundays on the Leeds-Bradford Line. An hourly Monday to Saturday evening service calls on the Airedale Line between Leeds and Skipton.