Yorkshire largely has a mixed economy. City of Leeds is Yorkshire's largest city and the main centre of trade and commerce. Leeds is one of the UK's largest financial centres. Leeds' traditional industries have been mixed between the service-based industries as well as textile manufacturing and coal mining to the south and east of the city. Sheffield traditionally has had heavy industrial manufacturing such as coal mining and the steel industry. Since the decline of such industries Sheffield has attracted tertiary and administrative businesses including a growing retail trade, particularly with the development of Meadowhall. However, whilst Sheffield's heavy industry has declined the region has reinvented itself as a world renowned centre for specialist engineering. A cluster of hi-tech facilities including The Welding Institute, the Boeing partnered Advanced Materials Research Centre have all helped to raise the regions profile and to bring significant investment into Yorkshire. Bradford, Halifax, Keighley andHuddersfield are traditional centres of wool milling. These have since declined, and in areas such as Bradford,Dewsbury and Keighley have suffered a decline in their local economy. North Yorkshire has an established tourist industry with two national parks (Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire Moors National Park, Harrogate,York and Scarborough, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and such an industry is growing in Leeds. Kingston upon Hull is Yorkshire's largest port and has a large manufacturing base, its fishing industry has however declined somewhat in recent years. The North still has an agricultural backdrop, although this is much more diversified than once was the case, with tourism to help support local businesses.
Many large British companies are based in Yorkshire such as Morrisons (Bradford), Comet, (Hull), Jet2.com (Leeds), Ronseal (Sheffield),Optare (Leeds), Wharfedale (Leeds), Plaxton (Scarborough), Little Chef (Sheffield), Halifax Bank (Halifax) and McCains (Scarborough).
The most prominent road in Yorkshire, historically called the Great North Road, is known as the A1. This trunk road passes through the centre of the county and is the prime route from Londonto Edinburgh. Another important road is the more easterly A19 road which starts in Doncaster and ends just north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne at Seaton Burn. The M62 motorway crosses the county from east to west from Hull towards Greater Manchester and Merseyside. The M1carries traffic from London and the south of England to Yorkshire. In 1999 about 8 miles (13 km) was added to make it swing east of Leeds and connect to the A1. The East Coast Main Linerail link between Scotland and London runs roughly parallel with the A1 through Yorkshire and theTrans Pennine rail link runs east to west from Hull to Liverpool via Leeds.
Before the advent of rail transport, seaports of Hull and Whitby played an important role in transporting goods. Historically canals were used, including the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which is the longest canal in England. Nowadays mainland Europe (the Netherlands and Belgium) can be reached from Hull via regular ferry services from P&O Ferries. Yorkshire also has air transport services from Leeds Bradford International Airport. This airport has experienced significant and rapid growth in both terminal size and passenger facilities since 1996, when improvements began, until the present day.South Yorkshire is served by the Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, based in Finningley.Sheffield City Airport opened in 1997 after years of Sheffield having no airport, due to a council decision in the 1960s not to develop one because of the city's good rail links with London and the development of airports in other nearby areas. The newly opened airport never managed to compete with larger airports such as Leeds Bradford International Airport and East Midlands Airport and attracted only a few scheduled flights, while the runway was too short to support low cost carriers. The opening of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, effectively made the airport redundant and it officially closed in April 2008.