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Leeds river taxi service becomes permanent

One of the water taxis passes under Crown Point Bridge

One of the water taxis passes under Crown Point Bridge

A free water taxi scheme that could eventually see commuters in Leeds catching the boat to work has been made permanent.

The Amsterdam-style service – trialled at the recent Leeds Waterfront Festival – takes passengers from Leeds Dock to Granary Wharf and back.

While currently operating on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only, the taxis could become a daily fixture running 7am-7pm.

Simon Tipple, who drives one of the boats, which take about seven minutes to cover the route, said: “The south entrance to the railway station is opening soon. Once that happens you’ll be able to get straight off the train and onto the water taxi.

“It’s quicker than walking, it’s quicker than being in the car.There’s a lot of flats, a lot of commuters in the dock area.”

The boats, which can carry up to 11 passengers, are being paid for by Allied London, the company that owns Leeds Dock – formerly Clarence Dock.

Bosses hope they will increase the profile of a part of the city that has struggled to attract visitors.

Project co-ordinator Lucy Whalley said: We understand how important it is to have a quick and easy way for people to be transported across the city and are confident that this will quickly become the way to travel in the city.”

Stuart Haydock, 66, took his grandson Oscar, six, for a ride yesterday. He said: “You see a bit of the city that you don’t normally see. I’ve driven over the Crown Point bridge and you don’t realise how beautiful the city is until you see it from a different perspective.”

Fellow passenger Peter Pickering, who was with grandson Leo Un, said: “I think it’s a really great idea and the fact that it’s free is absolutely fabulous.”

 

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