HS2 construction is set to close roads across and around Leeds - as well as divert buses and close car parks.
Construction has the potential to lead to additional congestion and delays for road users on a number of routes in Leeds including:
The M621 junctions 2 and 3; the A58(M)/A58; the A61 Great Wilson Road/Hunslet Road; Neville Street; the A653 Dewsbury Road/ Meadow Road/Meadow Lane/Victoria Road/ Great Wilson Street; Sovereign Street; Meadow Lane (north of A61 Great Wilson Street); Swinegate; Jack Lane; Parkfield Street; Cross Myrtle Street; Kidacre Street; Junction Street; Leathley Road; Holmes Street; Wellington Street; Aire Street; Princes Square; Thirsk Row; and Northern Street.
Construction work is also likely to result in the temporary closures and diversions or realignments of the following: the A653 Victoria Road; the A653 Meadow Lane; Neville Street; Sovereign Street; and Little Neville Street.
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It would also require the temporary diversion of 13 bus routes that operate along Neville Street, the A653 Victoria Road/Meadow Lane and the relocations of bus stops associated with these routes.
There is also the potential for disruption to rail services at the existing Leeds railway station.
Operation of the Proposed Scheme would require permanent highway changes affecting all users including pedestrians and cyclists.
These include the permanent closure of: Jack Lane; the A653 Great Wilson Street (between the A653 Victoria Road and the A653 Meadow Lane); and New Lane. Neville Street would be closed to vehicular traffic except for public transport (northbound only), servicing and emergency vehicles. Operation of the Proposed Scheme would also require the permanent diversion of: Myrtle Street; Leathley Road; Holmes Street; Kidacre Street; the A653 Victoria Road; the A653 Meadow Lane; City Walk; Manor Road; Water Lane; Little Neville Street; Sovereign Street and Pitt Row.
It is currently expected that there would be a permanent loss of car parking at locations along the route in this area. This would include New Lane and Holmes Street.
What HS2 says about the road closures
Work on the Phase 2b section of the route is due to start in 2023, with the high-speed railway in operation from 2033. In South Yorkshire, the route will pass close to the M1 and cross over the M1 and M18 on two viaducts at Thurcroft. It will go on to pass through the southern outskirts of Leeds up to a new £500m HS2 station adjacent to the existing railway station.
The report admits construction work will cause “additional congestion and delays” on six junctions of the M1 between Sheffield and Leeds, as well as five junctions of the M621 loops which runs through Leeds to link the M1 and M62.
During building work, “temporary closures, diversions or realignments” are planned at Junction 44 (Leeds A639) of the M1; the M18 southbound off-slip/M1 northbound on-slip and the M1 northbound off-slip/M18 northbound on-slip in South Yorkshire and the Junction 4 southbound off-slip of the M621.
To allow HS2 to run, Junction 1 (Rotherham) of the M18 will have to be permanently diverted.
Dozens of A-roads in the region connecting towns and cities are also expected to be affected by delays, congestions and temporary closures, while permanent alterations will be needed to the A57, the A630 Doncaster Road; the A635 Barnsley Road; the A639 Wakefield Road; the A653 Victoria Road and the A653 Meadow Lane.
The report said: “Certain routes would be subject to significant increases in traffic flows and/or diversions for the medium to long term.
“Traffic management plans would be produced to ensure no direct adverse health effects associated with road safety, but increased traffic flows and congestion may contribute to traveller stress.”
But it added the disruption will eventually prove worthwhile.
“Reductions in travel times and additional journey opportunities on both HS2 services and on the conventional rail network will result in benefits to users,” it said.
“The transfer of passengers from the conventional rail network and from mode transfer from private vehicles will result in benefits through reducing forecast future congestion on both the strategic highway and the conventional rail network.”
HS2 said today that wherever possible, roadworks will be carried out overnight and only one junction or lane of a motorway will be closed at a time.
Key routes will be worked on at different times, with work programmes scheduled to last ‘a few weeks’ at a time.
An HS2 Ltd spokesperson told The Yorkshire Post: “We’re building a brand new high speed railway which will play a huge role in easing congestion and improving the whole transport offering for West Yorkshire.
“We are already working closely with major transport partners across the region, and our temporary work programmes will be scheduled to ensure that impacts to motorway and local road users are kept to a minimum.
“We have spent a lot of time looking at international best practice to understand the latest in design principles. We’ll apply that learning, and also look at how we can carry out construction works off site, to reduce the amount of time we need to spend working on the road network.”
A ten-week consultation is currently taking place on the plans and the final plans will go before Parliament in 2020.
More than 100 homes and businesses will have to be demolished along the currently planned route of the HS2 line through Yorkshire, putting thousands of jobs at risk, with Asda’s national headquarters and a Hilton hotel in Leeds among the buildings in line to be bulldozed.
HS2 say the high-speed railway line will bring tens of thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of investment to Yorkshire, while increasing capacity on the rail network.