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West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972.
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.
West Yorkshire tends to be cooler than counties further south, due to inland location and high elevation (especially in western areas). In December 2010, many rivers in West Yorkshire froze over.
In 1986, throughout England the metropolitan county councils were abolished.
However, many areas are affected by urban fringe pressures creating fragmented and downgraded landscapes and ever present are urban influences from major cities, smaller industrial towns and former mining villages.
In the magnesian limestone belt to the east of the Leeds and Wakefield areas is an elevated ridge with smoothly rolling scenery, dissected by dry valleys.
Major railways and three major motorways traverse the county.
In the heart of the county is Leeds Bradford International Airport.