Famous names praise scheme that gives Leeds passengers a ticket to read

Alan Bennett.
Alan Bennett.
  • People encouraged to leave books in stations for others to read
  • Alan Bennett and Barbara Taylor Bradford hail initiative
  • Scheme launched to coincide with Thursday’s World Book Day
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World-famous writers Alan Bennett and Barbara Taylor Bradford have given their backing to a real page-turner of an idea from local transport chiefs.

Passengers are being encouraged to leave books in bus and train stations across West Yorkshire for others to read while on their travels.

I wish there’d been books lying around on buses when I was a boy.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) staff are kicking things off this week by placing a selection of their own specially-labelled books in the county’s stations.

And two of Leeds’s best known literary figures have been quick to praise the scheme, which is being launched to coincide with Thursday’s World Book Day.

Armley-born Bennett said: “It’s a very good idea, I hope it goes very well, I wish there’d been books lying around on buses when I was a boy – pick up a book, it might change your life!”

Taylor Bradford, a former Yorkshire Evening Post typist, said: “I often read on my travels, whether on planes, trains or in cars and find the journey goes a lot quicker as a result.

“I hope people embrace the initiative and are able to share with others the wonderful joy a great read can bring.”

WYCA transport committee chair Coun James Lewis said: “Passengers frequently tell us that travelling by bus or train gives them the perfect opportunity to enjoy a book.

“We’ll be leaving some books around to get things started, but anyone can leave a book for others to read, enjoy and return.

“It’s very simple, if you find a book while waiting for or travelling on a bus or train in West Yorkshire, take it, read it, hopefully enjoy it and then leave it for another passenger to enjoy and so on.”

People are also being asked to post book reviews and recommendations on the West Yorkshire Metro Facebook page or tweet them @MetroTravelNews using #WYCABookClub.

For further details, visit the www.wymetro.com/bookclub web page.

The recently-formed WYCA includes what was Metro, West Yorkshire’s passenger transport authority.

Meanwhile, the YEP is doing its bit to mark World Book Day by creating a gallery of photos of readers’ children dressed as their favourite literary characters.

E-mail yep.newsdesk@ypn.co.uk, including the child’s name, age and the character they are dressed as, or tweet a picture and the same details @LeedsNews.