Wacky Races across Leeds: Cycling, driving or taking a bus or train... who do you think wins?

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THEY travelled by bus, train, bike and car in a race to be crowned the Yorkshire Evening Post’s commuting challenge champion.

A bit of fun, maybe, but also one with a serious intention – namely, to round off a week-long YEP focus on transport problems in Leeds.

Find out who won our wacky race across Leeds by clicking the links below...

Wacky Races: How our reporter fared as he took the humble BIKE to work

Wacky Races: How our reporter fared as she drove her CAR to work

Wacky Races: How our reporter fared as she took the BUS to work

Our team of reporters all arrived safely at the Leeds office... but who came home first?

Our team of reporters all arrived safely at the Leeds office... but who came home first?

Wacky Races: How our reporter fared as he took the TRAIN to work

And yesterday the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) had its say on one of the biggest issues of the week – the future of the East Coast rail route.

The WYCA wants Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to make sure that the imminent collapse of the East Coast franchise does not scupper plans to get more trains running between Leeds and London.

It has written to Mr Grayling asking him to “guarantee” that the introduction of extra services on the route will go ahead as scheduled in 2019.

Our team of reporters, John Blow, Georgina Morris, Emma Spencer and Mark Casci, prepare to set off on their race into the Leeds offices.

Our team of reporters, John Blow, Georgina Morris, Emma Spencer and Mark Casci, prepare to set off on their race into the Leeds offices.

Ministers recently announced that the Stagecoach-led franchise for the line would not be able to continue for more than a few months due to losses.

The Government could now be forced to step in to operate trains on the London-Yorkshire-Scotland route. Another option would see Stagecoach still running services but on a short-term, not-for-profit basis.

Commitments in the current franchise deal include an increase in direct trains between London and Leeds, Horsforth, Dewsbury, Harrogate, York, Huddersfield, Bradford Forster Square and Shipley in May next year.

The WYCA’s letter to Mr Grayling says: “As you will know, the current InterCity East Coast franchise contains a number of important service commitments for the Leeds City Region due for delivery from the May 2019 timetable change.

“The commitment for a significant increase in the number of through-trains to and from London to places beyond Leeds was particularly welcome, and supports our inclusive economic growth agenda, as well as providing additional much-needed capacity between centres within the City Region.”

The letter is signed by Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, chair of the WYCA and leader of Bradford Council, and Coun Keith Wakefield, chair of the WYCA’s transport committee.

Mr Grayling has previously said that operations on the East Coast line will continue “with no impact on services or staff”.

Meanwhile, bus bosses in West Yorkshire have issued a “we’re getting there” message to the county’s passengers.

Bus18, a partnership involving operators First West Yorkshire, Arriva Yorkshire and Transdev Blazefield as well as the WYCA, said £23.5m had been invested in low-emission buses in the county in 2017.

The partnership also said more than £1m was being spent on measures to ease traffic queues at around 30 congestion ‘hotspots’.

Work has already been carried out in locations such as Santingley Lane in New Crofton and Southfield Road in Knottingley.

Find out who won our wacky race across Leeds by clicking the links below...

Wacky Races: How our reporter fared as he took the humble BIKE to work

Wacky Races: How our reporter fared as she drove her CAR to work

Wacky Races: How our reporter fared as she took the BUS to work

Wacky Races: How our reporter fared as he took the TRAIN to work

Police at the scene of yesterday's fatal collision. Picture: Matt Sharp.

Pedestrian dies from his injuries after collision with a car in Tingley.