£28m for Leeds park and ride schemes to cut traffic congestion

Elland Road Park and Ride in Leeds.
Elland Road Park and Ride in Leeds.
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Work is expected to start soon on more than £28m worth of improvements to help alleviate rush hour congestion in Leeds, as the council warns it needs to “keep pace” with improvements in the city.

Leeds City Council’s executive committee will meet this week to discuss a new £23m park and ride scheme in Stourton, as well as an £5m expansion to its Elland Road park and ride service.

The authority believes the city’s booming economy means it is now playing catch-up with its transport services, and that work to help lower congestion needs to take place sooner rather than later.

As part of its plans for Stourton, money will be released to design and build a new scheme with buses running every 15 minutes into the city centre along the A61 Hunslet Road.

The site would include 1,200 car parking spaces, as well as two bus stops and an electric bus charging point. This would also create nearly four extra miles in bus lanes.

Work is expected to start in Spring 2019, and be completed by the summer of 2020.

Such is the popularity of the existing Elland Road park and ride, the council is also submitting plans to extend the site to add an extra 550 parking spaces to cope with increasing demand.

There would also be an additional bus added to the services, which would increase the frequency at peak times from every eight minutes to every six minutes. The work would involve building a new link road between Bobby Collins Way and Lowfields Road.

The improvements are expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

A report going before councillors warned: “In the city centre, there has been extensive development in recent years, reinforcing the city’s position as a major retail and office location.

“Alongside the planned housing growth that is required in future years, it means significant investment in the transport system is needed to support the level of growth recently experienced and anticipated.

“The growth of Leeds’ economy is crucial to helping achieve better economic outcomes across the region and the North.

“Against this background of growth across the city, because of a lack of investment over a number of years, it is evident that the development of Leeds’ transport infrastructure has not kept pace and remains a big challenge.”

The two schemes will be paid for with money left over from the now-shelved trolleybus scheme, known as the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme.

The authority is expected to submit planning applications for the two sites at the meeting this week.