Drivers heading through Bradford and surrounding districts could be met with 'census point' stops over the coming weeks. 

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has been stopping traffic on Manchester Road, close to Odsal Top roundabout, as well as parts of East Leeds.

But what is the reason behind the traffic stops and how will your data be used?

Here's a brief explanation of how the latest census point stops will work.

What is a census point? 

Authorities can ask drivers to take part in census points or road traffic surveys by filtering traffic through a coned-off section of the road.

Questions may focus on road infrastructure and safety as well as future schemes. 

Can you refuse to take part? 

Under section 36(4) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, drivers are committing an offence if they refuse to comply with road signs or temporary changes to traffic flow, such as being directed towards a census point.

Census points are not the same as traffic stops for potentially criminal offences by West Yorkshire Police. This means it is not an offence if you do not wish to fill in forms at census points as it is a civil matter.

If you do not wish to provide any data at census points, you can politely decline and carry on with your journey. 

Why is it happening in West Yorkshire? 

WYCA has been conducting several roadside interview surveys across the region's five local authorities: Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. 

The survey will look at how people travel - including where people are commuting from, the places they park, income, and their vehicle type - in order to develop a 'West Yorkshire Transport Model'. 

In the census form, WYCA said: "We are seeking to understand how people travel across our region by conducting traffic and public transport surveys, so we can better determine the demand and need for transport in West Yorkshire and inform wider transport policy and future transport initiatives in the region."

Everyone who completes this questionnaire will be entered into a prize draw for £250 - this will be doubled to £500 if the questionnaire is returned within seven days of issue. 

This is the full list of questions on WYCA's survey: 

  • What type of vehicle were you driving?
  • How many people were in the vehicle, including the driver? 
  • Would you please tell us the exact address you had JUST come from, i.e. before being stopped? Include the postcode if possible. 
  • Where did you park? 
  • And your reason for being there? Options include: Home, usual workplace, escort - work, employers business, education, escort - education, sport/leisure/social, shopping, visit friends/relatives, holiday, personal e.g. doctors, and other (please specify). 
  • Would you please tell us the exact address you were going to NEXT? Include the postcode if possible.
  • Where will you park? 
  • And your reason for going there? 
  • When is your return journey or when did you make your outbound journey? 
  • How would you describe your household income per year? This information will help us to understand how travel choices vary between different household types. 
  • Details to enter the prize draw