Leeds City Council have released a new animation which shows how the £23m Headrow scheme will look once completed in spring 2021.
The scheme forms part of the Connecting Leeds programme which is set to transform transport in the city centre into world-class gateways for bus users, pedestrians and cyclists, while continuing to provide access for businesses. Public realm improvements, bus priority measures, more greenery, safer cycle ways and crossings and wider pavements are just some of the benefits of the project.
The scheme started almost a year ago and in that time great progress has been made with large areas of paving on the southern footpaths completed (almost 2.5 miles of paving or 11,900 paving slabs) and nine shipping container sized tree pits dug out in preparation for the first semi-mature trees to be planted. As well as this, over 6,000 tonnes of waste materials have been removed from site and recycled at a nearby recycling plant.
District Heating pipes have been successfully installed between Eastgate and Oxford Place which will transfer energy from waste processed at the Veolia RERF facility. They will eventually provide low carbon heat and water for some businesses and major city centre public buildings including the museum, Town Hall and Civic Hall in addition to almost 1000 homes that have already been connected to the scheme in Leeds.
With over 100 buses passing through The Headrow every hour, it’s a busy stretch of road. Reducing the number of cars will ensure that buses will be more reliable which will in turn encourage more people on to public transport as it becomes a more efficient way of getting in and out of the city.
Leeds City Council executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development Councillor Lisa Mulherin said:
“I am thrilled to see this exciting scheme making progress and would firstly like to offer my thanks to people for their patience over the past year while we have carried out this crucial work. Without the co-operation from residents, workers, bus drivers, cyclists and pedestrians the success of this scheme would not have been possible.
“As well as creating a more attractive public realm, offering priority to buses, widening pavements for pedestrians and creating safer cycle ways, the Leeds PIPES district heating works will also enable the connection of homes and businesses to low carbon heating. These will all make a positive contribution to help tackle the climate emergency.
“As shops, cafes and businesses continue to reopen and the city centre sees more people again, we will continue to work with our partners and bus operators to minimise disruption as much as possible but we would like to remind people to plan ahead for their journeys, to respect the rules on public transport around wearing masks and consider walking or cycling for shorter journeys if you can.”
On behalf of Leeds bus operators, Paul Matthews, managing director of First West Yorkshire said:
“Bus operators have worked closely with Connecting Leeds during the past year to support this enlightened and ambitious programme to transform a central artery of the city centre.
“Managing and minimising inevitable disturbance to services has required strong co-ordination with our partners to keep people moving and maintain reliability, not least during the pandemic. We will continue to do so as the scheme progresses and the city emerges from the crisis, with bus playing its important role in the revival of the Leeds economy and its future prosperity.”