Senior councillors in Leeds will be asked to formally approve progressing a series of major projects to improve transport links in the city at a meeting next week.
At the meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board at Civic Hall on Wednesday 21 September, councillors will discuss continuing to support the development of a range of improvements to be delivered through the regional West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund (WYTF).
Among the schemes to be approved for continuing to develop business cases, feasibility work or proposals for consultation are the possible new link road to Leeds Bradford Airport as well as exploring short and longer-term rail options. Another significant proposal is a possible change to the traffic management of the city centre to make it more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, offering an attractive gateway to the city through the opportunities offered by the regeneration of the South Bank, the remodelling of Leeds Station and enhancing public transport and taxi connections.
Other major projects include the East Leeds Orbital Road to support the development of 5,000 new homes along the East Leeds Extension, and evaluating the possibility of a new rail station at Thorpe Park.
In the Aire Valley, a package of improvements has been identified featuring a new link road and river bridge as well as improvements to Junction 45 of the M1 and enhanced bus services to connect the Aire Valley Enterprise Zone and the new park and ride being built at Temple Green with the city centre.
Other proposed improvements are to the Outer Ring Road (A6110), highway and public transport capacity along the Leeds to Dewsbury A653 corridor and a bus efficiency package along key corridors in West Yorkshire.
All of these schemes would be funded through the £1billion West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund established in 2014, to be delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) working with local authorities.
The fund builds on previous investments to provide key new transport elements in Leeds including the Elland Road park and ride service, the new Kirkstall Forge rail station and the Leeds Station Southern Entrance which opened in January.
All of these projects fit within the discussions currently being held over the future of transport provision in Leeds and the wider region. In Leeds, the transport conversation is well underway, with as many people as possible being encouraged to complete the survey via www.leeds.gov.uk/transportconversation to give their views. Transport is also a key element of the South Bank regeneration proposals, which are currently being consulted on at www.southbankleeds.co.uk
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“All of these schemes already completed or being developed or considered fit with our local and regional commitment to making the improvements we need to our transport network to make it easier and more efficient for people to get from place to place. This will not only to make people’s lives easier, but it is essential for the future of the Leeds and regional economy to help connect people with places, jobs, education and training in order to offer a more attractive place to live, work, learn and visit for everyone.
“The ongoing transport discussion in Leeds along with the South Bank and regional transport strategies consultation are pivotal to the long-term future of transport provision which will impact on all of us, so I would encourage anyone who has not taken part yet to get involved and tell us what they think.”
On a regional level, WYCA is also consulting on its Transport Strategy and Bus Strategy. For more information visit www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk