Getting around Leeds is very easy and can be very cheap, if you know how. But first let’s get a couple of things straight, Taxi is NOT the only means of transport.
Buses to and around uni are abundant and frequent and can take you to most of the important places you need. All buses between Hyde Park corner and the city centre and from Headingley Arndale Centre to Parkinson Steps are only £1 single. The Leeds City Bus is only £1 no matter where you want to get off. Here’s a list of buses to the main places you may need to travel to:
- City Centre – 1, 6, 28, 56, 97, X84, Leeds City Bus – These all stop outside Morrison’s in the city centre
- Train station – 1, Leeds City Bus – And yes, you can easily fit a suitcase on the bus. No excuse for a taxi.
- Bus station/Megabus stop (Kirkgate) – 6, 28, 97, X84, Leeds City Bus
- Headingley – 1, 6, 28, 56, X84
- Kirkstall – 33, 33A, 50, 50A
Leeds Student Union provide a Nightbus service for anybody travelling home late at night. It costs just £1 and takes you right to your doorstep from outside the Union entrance. To book a place just speak to the security staff at the entrance who will put your name down.
When there’s a group of you, you can split the cost of a taxi making it very cheap. This is a safe way to travel late at night. Remember, only ever flag down hackney carriages, if you use a company always book first, even if there’s one around on the side of the road because then if anything happens there will be a record of which taxi you got in and where. Hackney carriages are a lot more expensive so try to book whenever you can. Here are a few of the common taxi firms and their numbers:
- Royal Cars – 0113 230 5000
- Amber cars – 0113 231 1366 – If you don’t have any money on you, Amber cars will accept your student card for a free ride. You can then go to the student union the following day to pay the fare and collect your card.
- Blueline – 0113 244 5566
- T-line – 0113 274 9800
- Arrow – 0113 258 5888
Leeds is a cycling city and there are cycle lanes on all the major routes to the university and city centre so bring your bike and start cycling to uni! It’ll cut your journey time in half and then you don’t need to feel guilty when you don’t go to the gym! But remember to wear a helmet and high-vis clothing in winter and at night.
For those of you who are lucky enough to have a car, a couple of words of warning: you will be expected to take all of your flatmates with you to do the weekly grocery shop and you will probably spend more time trying to park your car than actually in lectures. Leeds isn’t a great place to drive as a student because there is very limited parking, if you even make it that far through all the traffic in the first place, and it’ll probably take you longer than walking or catching the bus because everything is so close anyway. But if you still insist then consider buying a parking permit for parking on campus or nearby accommodation. You might have to walk a few minutes into uni but it’ll save more time than searching for a space.
Leeds Rail Station is located in the city centre and is where all inter-city trains depart to and from. It is a 20 minute walk from campus and a few minutes ride on buses 1 or Leeds City Bus.
Burley Park Station is a local station located in the Burley area, not far from Hyde Park. For anybody living nearby, connecting trains run from here to Leeds Rail Station. London’s Kings Cross Station is around 2h20 away on the Virgin Trains East Coast line.
Remember, if you catch the train home, even a couple of times a year, it may be worth investing in a 16-25 Railcard which gets you 1/3 off the price of all train tickets, not bad eh?
This is a much cheaper option for travelling home, but I wouldn’t recommend it for anybody living further south than Birmingham. Although all of us know a crazy fool from the south coast who risked a Megabus home at some point.
National Express – The coach station is located in the same building as Leeds Bus Station in the city centre. Normally more reliable and faster, but more expensive. Check out how much you have in the bank before you book. They offer a coachcard, which like the railcard, offers 1/3 of the price of coach tickets. But be careful, it’s only off standard fares. If you normally buy the cheap ‘funfares’ then don’t bother with this, you won’t get a discount.
Megabus – The dirt cheap option. The stop is located on Kirkgate near Leeds Indoor Markets and Leeds Bus Station in the city centre. And it is literally a bus stop, don’t go looking for some swanky station with a roof or other such luxuries. Be prepared for delays, don’t risk it if you have somewhere important to be.