Rail travel in Bradford and Craven – an autistic person’s guide

This post was written by Luke Aylward, our Information Officer

As a companion piece to our recent blog post about bus travel in the Bradford area, I’m putting together some useful information about travelling around the Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven by train.

At the time of writing, there are a few difficulties with train services in our part of the world. The two main ones are:

  • The landslip near Baildon, which has seen rail services between Bradford Forster Square and Ilkley suspended.
  • The closure of the bus station part of Bradford Interchange. Although train services are still running, the station’s toilets and shops are closed.

There is no confirmed date for when the Forster Square-Ilkley line will be reopened, or when the Interchange bus station will be up and running. However, whatever your plans are for travelling throughout the local area by train, there are a few things you can do to make journeys easier.

What services are still running as normal?

Bradford Interchange

All services going to and from Interchange are running as usual, including Leeds, Halifax and Huddersfield. To enter the train station, the only route is through the side entrance, which is accessible from the walkway on the left-hand side of the closed main entrance.

Bradford Forster Square

Services from here to Leeds and Skipton are still running as normal. Until the landslip near Baildon is cleared, services to Ilkley are not running for now.

Skipton

Services are running as normal to Bradford Forster Square, Leeds, London Kings Cross, Carlisle and Morecambe.

Shipley

Services to Ilkley via Baildon remain cancelled until the landslip between Baildon and Shipley is cleared. All other services going to Leeds, Bradford Forster Square, Keighley, Skipton and Carlisle are still running.

Keighley

Services to and from Carlisle, Bradford Forster Square, Skipton and Leeds are running as normal. The same applies to services to London Kings Cross.

Ilkley

Services between Ilkley and Bradford Forster Square remain cancelled for the time being. However, services to and from Leeds are running as normal.

Settle

All services going to and from Leeds and Carlisle are running as normal.

Train strikes

Over the past year or two, there has been industrial action by train drivers and railway workers from the ASLEF and RMT trade unions. As a result, on some strike days, there have been no train services or limited services running.

On Saturday 6th April, train drivers with Northern and LNER will be on strike. It is likely that there will be little or no services from those operators running on that date. There is also an overtime ban on Thursday 4th April-Saturday 6th April, and on Monday 8th-Tuesday 9th April, so some cancellations could happen on those dates.

When other train strikes are announced, the National Rail website have a page with useful information on which operators are affected and on which dates. Click on the link below to read it: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/travel-information/industrial-action/

Journey planning and tickets

If you are planning a journey, there are some useful websites and apps that can help. Here is a list of them:

In addition to that, there are other websites that you can use for checking live departure times and booking tickets in advance or as and when needed:

Safe journey resources

If you are anxious about going on the trains in Bradford and Craven, there are some resources that can help. Northern Railway have a Priority Seat Card available for travellers with hidden disabilities, including autism. More information on that and other support is on their website here: https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/travel/accessible-travel-policy

LNER recognise the Sunflower Lanyard scheme for people with hidden disabilities on their trains. More information on what they can do for disabled passengers is available here: https://www.lner.co.uk/the-east-coast-experience/travel-tips/assisted-travel/

Autism AIM’s travel guides

More useful information is in guides made by our friends in the Leeds Autism AIM team. The guides cover topics including planning journeys, travelling in the UK, packing and budgeting for holidays. Please click on the links below to download them:


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