West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in England. It is an inland and, in relative terms, upland county having eastward-draining valleys while taking in the moors of the Pennines. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972 and has a population of 2.2 million.

West Yorkshire consists of five metropolitan boroughs (City of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, City of Leeds and City of Wakefield) and is bordered by the counties of Derbyshire to the south, Greater Manchester to the south-west, Lancashire to the north-west, North Yorkshire to the north and east, and South Yorkshire to the south and south-east.

Remnants of strong coal, wool and iron ore industries remain in the county, having attracted people over the centuries, and this can be seen in the buildings and architecture. Major railways and two major motorways traverse the county, which also contains Leeds Bradford International Airport.

West Yorkshire County Council was abolished in 1986, so its five districts became effectively unitary authorities. However, the metropolitan county, which covers an area of 2,029 square kilometres (783 sq mi), continues to exist in law, and as a geographic frame of reference. Since 1 April 2014 West Yorkshire has been a combined authority area, with the local authorities pooling together some functions over transport and regeneration as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. In March 2020, it was confirmed by the government that West Yorkshire could have its first elected Mayor, provided all five local authorities (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, and Wakefield approved the deal. If successful, the first vote would be the 2021 West Yorkshire mayoral election, scheduled to take place on 6 May 2021.

West Yorkshire includes the West Yorkshire Urban Area, which is the biggest and most built-up urban area within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire.

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