Leeds M621 upgrade: Yorkshire residents can find out more about upcoming major M621 roadworks near Leeds at virtual events launching next week

Members of the public who want to find out more about the upcoming upgrade of the M621 road near Leeds can visit a virtual exhibition from Monday (August 1) onwards.

The roadworks to improve the M621 between junctions 1 and 7 are due to take place in August - although an official date has not yet been confirmed.

National Highways is also providing people with the opportunity to join live web chats about the project or call in during telephone surgeries.

The improvements to the busy motorway linking to Leeds city centre will ease congestion, increase capacity and boost safety.

The M621 near junction 2 and Elland Road, Leeds. (Pic credit: National Highways)

Once the roadworks are complete, the upgrade will enhance economic growth by shortening journeys, traffic flow at peak times and average speeds.

National Highways project manager, James Finnigan, said: “Road users and residents will have seen us carrying out preparatory work since the middle of June and we’re due to start work in earnest in August.

“The M621 is a vital link between Leeds city centre and the surrounding road network. During peak times, as many motorists will know too well, traffic often becomes very congested between junctions 1 and 6. We need to create more reliable journeys for everyone using this route, making sure more people get to where they need to go safely.

“It’s great news for the local and regional economy as our scheme will support economic growth aspirations - helping people and businesses access Leeds city centre and the surrounding area.”

The benefits of the project include:

- Creating additional lanes at the junction 2 roundabout and junction 3 westbound, as well as between junctions 1 and 3 where two short lengths of the existing hard shoulder will be converted to additional lanes for traffic.

- Enabling vehicles to move more freely at existing junctions, which will reduce stopping traffic and the risk of slow speed collisions. Eastbound vehicles will no longer have to stop at junction 2 and will be able to move freely between the M621 and A643 instead.

- Making improvements to junction 3 westbound, giving priority to the main M621 traffic, allowing it to flow more freely. Improvements at this junction will also remove conflicts where the traffic merges in this area.

- Permanently closing the junction 2a exit slip road, which will reduce the risk of collisions caused by the short distance between junctions 3 and 2a.

- Installing additional information technology along the length of the motorway to safely manage traffic in case of an incident and to keep drivers better updated.

Initial work will involve the installation of new average speed cameras, overhead electronic information signs and changes to the road structure to help traffic movements around junctions 2 and 3. Narrow lanes and traffic management will also be introduced to keep road users and road workers safe during the construction, while also keeping the maximum capacity for traffic.

Even though the delivery partner Keltbray and its subcontractors will be working predominantly during the day, there will be lane or road closures taking place overnight which will be announced ahead of time.

The project team will be hosting a number of drop-in events in August and September so that people can find out more about the scheme and ask any questions they may have. The dates and venues will be announced in due course.

In the meantime, anyone who wants to find out more about the project can visit the virtual public information event from 9am on Monday, August 1 by visiting the National Highways website. Visitors can ask questions via a live chat function at certain times.

There will also be telephone surgeries. The events will take place on August 2; the telephone surgery time slot is between 10am and 1pm (tel: 0808 196 4502) and the live web chat event will take place from 2pm to 6pm.

On Wednesday, August 3, there will be a live web chat from 8am to 11am and 6pm to 8pm as well as a telephone surgery from 12pm to 4pm (tel: 0808 196 4502).

To sign up for free project updates, visit the National Highways website.

National Highways will continue to work closely with Keltbray and Leeds City Council to make sure traffic runs as smoothly as possible and minimise the impact on the wider network.