Millions spent on roads in Leeds but jams not going away

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TRAFFIC jams in Leeds are not getting any better - despite the efforts of the council to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

Compared with 2013, congestion in 2014 was worse in 14 of the UK’s 17 biggest cities, with Bristol the only destination where jams had eased slightly.

In Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield, congestion levels were about the same in 2014 as in 2013.

Transport bosses in Yorkshire insisted they are doing all they can to ease congestion.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for transport at Leeds Council, said building more roads simply generated more traffic.

“We know that the solution can’t come from building more roads, not only due to the cost but we also know this just leads to more traffic being generated.

“Therefore, while we continue with ‘business as usual’ schemes, such as the vital improvements to the inner ring road, our strategy to reduce congestion in the city is to encourage people to get out of their cars and onto public transport, walking and cycling.

“Schemes already introduced include the A65 Kirkstall Road Quality Bus Corridor in 2012 and the Elland Road Park and Ride site, which provides 800 spaces and has been a massive success.

“A further 1,000 space park and ride site is planned to open during 2016 at Temple Green in the Aire Valley, while a new train station at Kirkstall Forge will also be opening later this year.”

He said the council was working to improve bus services and improve facilities for cyclists, including a major project to improve the cycle infrastructure between Leeds and Bradford.

A Bradford Council spokesman said it had invested heavily in improvements at Saltaire roundabout and the Canal Road/Stanley Road junction and consultation had started on a gyratory scheme for Keighley town centre aimed at reducing queues.

The spokesman said further spending by the West Yorkshire transport fund would see improvements at the Harrogate Road/New Line junction and the creation of a dual carriageway on the A650 Hard Ings Road, Keighley.

Improved car parking at key rail stations and new stations at Apperley Bridge and Low Moor would boost public transport, he said.

£29m CYCLE LANE DUE FOR OPENING

Councils in Leeds and Bradford have invested in the creation of a ‘cycle superhighway’ linking the two cities.

The scheme involves upgrading the canal towpath from Kirkstall to Shipley and creating 23km of segregated cycling routes connecting Bradford to east Leeds via Leeds city centre.

There will be 20mph zones on streets next to the cycle routes. The total cost will be just over £29m.

The routes are due to be fully opened by September this year.

It is expected that 9,000 daily trips will be made, a combination of existing cyclists and new users. Info at cyclecityconnect.co.uk

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