West Yorkshire metropolitan county

If you are more familiar with metropolitan counties in other parts of the country, then you may need to adjust your sense of scale when you arrive in the UK's biggest.

Here are some facts and figures about West Yorkshire:

• West Yorkshire is made up of a ring of five metropolitan districts.

On average, West and South Yorkshire metropolitan districts are 3 times larger than those elsewhere • West Yorkshire is the largest metropolitan county in the UK, covering 29% more area than Greater London.

• West Yorkshire is more than double the area of West Midlands.

• Each metropolitan district is an average three times larger than those outside Yorkshire and more than eight times larger than London boroughs.

Meltham - a small town in Kirklees district Hebden Bridge - a town in Calderdale district Bingley - a town in Bradford district Ossett - a town in Wakefield district Morley - one of the towns around Leeds • West Yorkshire has three cities and Yorkshire’s largest town, dozens of other towns and hundreds of villages.

• The population of West Yorkshire is more than 2.3 million.

• Just under 0.8 million live in the metropolitan district around the largest city, Leeds.

• Leeds is not the central point of West Yorkshire. This falls within the Kirklees metropolitan district. The county fire authority chose the village of Birkenshaw for its centrally-located HQ, while Cleckheaton is the most central town.

• More than 0.5 million live in the metropolitan district of West Yorkshire’s second largest city, Bradford, a population close to that of the biggest city of South Yorkshire, Sheffield.

Peak District National Park in Kirklees district • West Yorkshire includes Pennine moorland and valleys and part of the Peak District National Park.

• The West Yorkshire metropolitan county was formed in 1974 from around 28% of the historic West Riding of Yorkshire. It included the central portion of the previous administrative county, an area where towns had seen expansion mainly associated with woollen textile production, engineering and connected industries.

County Hall, Wakefield • The county town of West Yorkshire, like that of the West Riding, is the city of Wakefield.

• The metropolitan county authority was abolished in 1986 but since 2014 the five metropolitan districts have come together to organise some services through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

• When formed in 1974, two West Yorkshire metropolitan districts, Halifax-based Calderdale and Huddersfield-based Kirklees, decided upon names that would be more inclusive of all their other towns.

• Kirklees metropolitan district has the largest population in the UK of any borough not containing a city.

Metro's 'M' appears at stations and bus stops • The West Yorkshire Combined Authority public transport brand Metro offers travel tickets and passes allowing travel across the multiple operators within the boundaries of West Yorkshire.

• The highest point in West Yorkshire is Black Hill in the Kirklees district at 582 metres (1,909ft). It is on the boundary with Derbyshire (Cheshire before 1974).

River Aire at Castleford in Wakefield district • West Yorkshire's biggest rivers are the River Aire, flowing through the Bradford and Leeds district and at the northern edge of the Wakefield district; the River Calder, flowing through the Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield districts; and River Wharfe flowing at the northern edge of Bradford and Leeds districts.

• Trains provide the quickest public transport across the considerable commuter distances in West Yorkshire, but have much lower frequencies and route options than the network in London. A train journey from West Yorkshire’s westernmost railway station Walsden to its easternmost railway station Knottingley takes 2 hours 7 minutes. From the northernmost station Ben Rhydding to southernmost Denby Dale takes 1 hour 53 minutes.

Places in West Yorkshire

Find cities, towns and villages in the metropolitan districts of West Yorkshire:

BRADFORD Metropolitan district
CALDERDALE Metropolitan district
KIRKLEES Metropolitan district
LEEDS Metropolitan district
WAKEFIELD Metropolitan district

Links to useful West Yorkshire websites

West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Covers some combined services of the five metropolitan district councils of West Yorkshire -  Bradford,  Calderdale,  Leeds,  Kirklees and  Wakefield - which were at one time provided by a West Yorkshire metropolitan county council, with the addition of the non-contiguous unitary authority area of the City of  York council as well as the unelected Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.

 West Yorkshire Combined Authority website.

Travel network of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. Metro provides help and information on journey planning, tickets and passes and support for sustainable travel.
 Metro website.

Emergency services

West Yorkshire Police  West Yorkshire Police website.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

West Yorkshire Fire Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the five metropolitan district councils of West Yorkshire - Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield.
 West Yorkshire Fire Authority web pages.

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