Yorkshire transport bosses must grasp tourism opportunity - The Yorkshire Post says

Yorkshire’s own are painfully aware that an inefficient transport system is holding back the region and wider North.

Commuters at Leeds Station.

It’s little wonder many are opting to continue working from the comfort of their homes when it gets them out of the daily struggle of frustratingly laboured commutes.

Now it can be argued that the very same “unreliability, uncertainty and poor connectivity of the North’s public transport services”, in the words of a new report, is jeopardising opportunities presented by a boom in domestic holidays – a vital sector in the region’s post-pandemic recovery.

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Research commissioned by Transport for the North found that in 2019, the North accounted for 25 per cent of tourism spending in England – worth £21bn to the regional economy and supporting almost 600,000 jobs.

But the Visitor Economy and Transport in the North of England report, conducted by Atkins and Leisure Consultancy, said improved transport links could better this figure after focus groups and regional tourism chiefs highlighted many visitors are being put off by overcrowded and disconnected services.

While the pandemic has badly affected Yorkshire’s tourism economy, the report highlights that conversely there is “significant potential for the North’s visitor economy to flourish from an increase in ‘staycations’ due to the pandemic effect”.

However, “70 per cent of participants indicated that improved public transport connectivity would encourage them to take more day trips to the north of England”.

It remains to be seen whether this increased enthusiasm for holidays at home will last beyond the point at which greater normality resumes in foreign travel.

However, the work of Yorkshire’s tourism sector to show off the region and an increased concern for the environment suggest that it might.

Now it’s time for transport bosses to also grasp this opportunity.