West Yorkshire Mayor makes face masks compulsory in bus stations including Halifax and Brighouse
West Yorkshire's Mayor has mandated the use of face masks in indoor bus stations despite restrictions lifting on July 19.
Tracy Brabin said she would have extended the rule to buses and trains if she had the power, and urged people to continue wearing masks on public transport even though it will no longer be law.
The rule will apply to bus stations in Halifax and Brighouse as well as Batley, Bradford Interchange, Castleford, Cleckheaton, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Keighley, Leeds, Ossett, Pudsey and Pontefract.
It comes after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan asked Transport for London (TfL) to enforce the use of mask wearing on buses and trains as a “condition of carriage”, even after legal restrictions have been lifted.
Ms Brabin called on the public to think of others and continue wearing face coverings on public transport.
She is also calling on the Government to mandate the use of face masks across all public transport networks, including bus and rail services.
Ms Brabin will join Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham and Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotherham, for a press conference this afternoon.
Ms Brabin said: “The past 18 months has been incredibly hard for our West Yorkshire communities - no more so than for the vulnerable and for people who have tragically lost loved ones.
"This is why, today I am urging people across the region to wear a face mask on all of our public transport networks.
"I hope this will give encouragement to those who are vulnerable – such as those using public transport to attended chemotherapy appointments – to continue to travel on public transport.
"With that in mind, and with 71 per cent of the public supportive of the continued use of face coverings, I am today mandating the use of face coverings across bus stations in West Yorkshire. Whilst I would like to go further to include buses and trains, we are doing what is in our power.
Ms Brabin added: “I have been consistently clear with Government - they have the power to mandate face masks across all transport networks and I would support them to make that decision as restrictions lift. While the vaccination roll out is impressive, we still have further to go with infections across West Yorkshire still high.
“We have come so far. Let’s stick together, support each other so places like West Yorkshire can recover and thrive.”