Council chiefs to discuss transport and Connecting Leeds investment progress
Senior councillors in Leeds will discuss a progress update on the plan to transform transport and travel in and around the city at a meeting next week.
At the meeting of the council’s executive board at Civic Hall on Wednesday 25 July, councillors will consider a report on the latest position of the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme – part of Connecting Leeds – to invest an unprecedented £270million in the transport network of the city.
Connecting Leeds, the long-term transport strategy for Leeds aims to improve all aspects of transport and travel in the city and connecting to the wider Leeds City Region.
The main focus is on improved and more attractive public transport options, with new infrastructure and technology on roads, rail and park and ride supported by enhanced bus and rail services to offer quicker and more consistent journey times, reduced congestion and improvements to air quality.
Public consultation has already taken place on proposed road improvements to the first set of key travel corridors in the city, with a second set currently ongoing along with engagement around proposed new rail stations at White Rose and Thorpe Park. To see these proposals visit www.leeds.gov.uk/connectingleeds
With the feedback from the first set of consultation currently being analysed, the board is being asked to approve work continuing to be developed including the following elements:
- Continued enhancement of park and ride in Leeds, with a planning application to extend the existing Elland Road site and also make it a more frequent service
- Proposals and a planning application for a new park and ride service operating from Stourton along with feasibility work on an additional new park and ride site serving north Leeds at Alwoodley Gates
- Carrying out road improvements including bus priority as well as cycling and walking enhancements to ease congestion and improve journey times on Wakefield Road, Low Road and Hunslet Road
- Similar improvements to be implemented on the A647 (Bradford to Leeds), A61 North (Alwoodley to Leeds) and the A58 through Oakwood and Roundhay including new off-road parking on the A58 to take parked vehicles off the carriageway and improve traffic flow
- York Street to be made bus-only between St Cecelia Street and Duke Street
- New signalisation on the A660 (Adel to Leeds) at Holt Lane.
If approved to proceed, the designs of the road improvement schemes will be developed in more detail followed by further local consultation with the work on site expected to start early in 2019.
The Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme is being delivered by Leeds City Council working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, partners and stakeholders and has been guided and endorsed by the Leeds transport advisory panel.
Along with infrastructure and supporting travel improvements, bus provider First West Yorkshire is investing £71million to improve its operation in the city, with 34 of their new low-emissions buses in service with 250 more to follow together with new technologies such as contactless and ticketless payment options. Fellow bus providers Arriva operate 37 buses in Leeds which meet the latest emissions requirements, while all Transdev vehicles working on Leeds routes have been purchased as new or refurbished to the same standard within the last two years.
Enhancing cycling and pedestrian facilities is another key element of the strategy for Leeds, encouraging more people to ride and walk as part of promoting a healthy city. This will be done through the ‘Cycling Starts Here’ strategy which aims to create a high-quality cycling network across the city.
As part of Connecting Leeds and the longer-term transport strategy for the wider region, work continues led by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in partnership with councils on mass transit proposals, with the initial findings due to be released later in the year.
The leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:
“The idea behind the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme and the Connecting Leeds strategy is for continuous improvements to be carried out across our transport network to make a real and meaningful difference for everyone travelling in our city and better connectivity with the wider region.
“In keeping with our commitment to delivering on what people told us they want, we are very keen to get on with the work and this is the next step in the process of making our transport network as fast, efficient, reliable, accessible and green as we can. We can’t do everything at once so the work will come forward in planned stages to be carried out in the months and years ahead for everyone to benefit from.”
The vision set out for the Connecting Leeds strategy is to deliver a transformational step change in the transport network and connectivity in Leeds and the wider region, helping to support and bring people, places, jobs, learning and leisure closer together. This will be achieved through improvements to the road, rail, bus, park and ride, cycling and walking services and infrastructure, reducing congestion and improving air quality and accessibility in Leeds along with utilising the latest technology innovations.
It has been developed from the feedback received in the biggest-ever transport conversation held with residents, businesses, stakeholders and visitors in the city which included more than 8,000 people taking part in a survey in 2016.
The Leeds Transport Strategy and the full list of members of the Leeds transport advisory panel can be seen at www.leeds.gov.uk/transportconversation