Work to transform four areas in Leeds city centre complete

Construction work to transform the bus network, reduce public transport journey times and improve the public realm in Leeds has been completed.

As part of the Connecting Leeds programme, which aims to make the city centre a better place to work, live, shop and entertain, Headrow, Cookridge Street, Park Row and Infirmary Street have all been transformed.

The Headrow now offers priority access for buses and cyclists, safer crossings for pedestrians, dedicated bus gates to remove through traffic, wider pavements and more greenery and street furniture, after a consultation in early 2018 highlighted issues affecting transport and the environment along the route.

On Cookridge Street, an area has been closed off to traffic and an urban realm area has been created for events, with outdoor seating and a segregated cycle lane connecting the north of the city with the rail station.

Elsewhere, Park Row has been converted to a one-way street to make it easier for buses to navigate, and the pavements have been widened to offer pedestrians more space and businesses the opportunity to provide outdoor seating.

Infirmary Street has been converted into a two-way operation and bus-only restrictions are expected to improve journey times and air quality.

Cllr Helen Hayden, executive member for infrastructure and climate, said: ‘I am delighted that these much-anticipated schemes have been completed and would like to thank people for their patience over the past two years, in particular the businesses and residents based in the work areas.

‘Like any city centre project, this work was always going to be challenging and with the added pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic and reduced workforces our contractors and partners have had to work extra hard to complete the schemes efficiently. We have fortunately been able to take advantage of the quieter roads and pavements during lockdowns and worked alongside our stakeholders to rejig the programmes and ensure key areas were mostly completed to coincide with reopening.

‘We all want the city centre to be an inviting place for people to visit and the work we are doing to prioritise public and active travel creates a nicer environment for everyone. These new green spaces we have made, and continue to make, give people a new and welcoming place to relax and take in the buzz of the city.

‘The council has set an ambitious target to become carbon neutral by 2030 and it’s schemes such as these which reduce car dominance and promote active travel options that will help us to achieve our goals.’

In related news, Leeds residents are being given the opportunity to offer their views regarding the proposed transformation of a former golf course in South Leeds.

Photo supplied by Leeds City Council


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