Council to discuss £20m plans to improve transport in Leeds city centre

An artist impression of what changes on Park Row might look like.
An artist impression of what changes on Park Row might look like.
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Plans to transform transport in the centre of Leeds into world-class gateways for bus users, pedestrians and cyclists will be discussed at a meeting next week.

A report on the latest stage of the £20m plans will be put before senior councillors at a meeting of the Leeds City Council executive board.

A council vision for Cookridge Street.

A council vision for Cookridge Street.

It is part of a piece of work called Connecting Leeds, the long-term transport strategy for the city which will see an unprecedented £270million invested in Leeds’ transport network.

It covers the Headrow, Westgate, Vicar Lane between the Headrow and North Street, New Briggate, Infirmary Street and Park Row, Cookridge Street and small lengths of streets linking these together.

For example, Vicar Lane will be two-way for buses and some general traffic, removing the bottleneck on the Headrow. This will facilitate closure of traffic to the lower section of New Briggate, so it can be made more pedestrian friendly.

The plans aim to improve bus reliability by making sure they can navigate the city centre more easily whilst making the city centre a more quality area by increasing public space, and improving walking and cycling.

Some bus stops are going to be moved to more suitable areas with wider footways for passengers to wait. Bus-only restrictions will be introduced to improve bus journey time reliability. There’s strong support for reducing car dominance in the city centre, improving facilities for bus passengers and enhancing the public realm.

Last summer’s consultation feedback on initial proposals saw 76 per cent of those who responded support the schemes. These proposals, which have been amended and developed further, address bus service reliability, cycle safety, accessibility, pedestrian comfort and quality of the public realm.

Coun Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This multi-million pound investment will see huge improvements for public transport reliability, reducing delays and giving buses priority to get easily through the city centre. They will also enhance the ability for people to move about the city by foot or by bike. There’s been some really good initial feedback to these proposals, which include the added benefit of creating more attractive and improved public spaces."

Another phase of public consultation opened last month and will close at midnight on Friday. People can still comment on the plans available on www.leeds.gov.uk/connectingleeds.