This week the Yorkshire Evening Post has revealed our readers’ biggest concerns as part of our voice of leeds 2014 survey. today we share your thoughts on life in the city.
Thousands of people took part in an unprecedented survey by this newspaper.
Three-quarters of respondents told us that traffic is a major problem in Leeds – and they believe it is an issue that is only getting WORSE.
The YEP’s Voice of Leeds 2014 Survey revealed that nearly 70 per cent of people who responded said council chiefs made the wrong decision to charge for weekend and evening parking in the city centre. More than half said they were not in favour of the controversial trolleybus scheme with just 24 per cent backing the plans to transform the city’s transport network. Despite their concerns about crime more than half of respondents said they think Leeds is safer than many other cities in the country.
And readers have also shared their concerns about their personal finances and spending.
Today we are giving our readers the chance to share their views about our survey and how they think life in Leeds could be improved.
More than 2,000 readers took part in the YEP’s survey earlier this year to help create a snapshot of life in Leeds.
VIEWS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
Stu Dobson: Every city is the same not just Leeds every year more and more vehicles are on the roads. It will get worse.
David Watson: What else can you expect when you reduce main arterial routes by 50% in capacity just so one vehicle, buses, can have a free run every 10 minutes. All bus lanes should be reclassified as ‘+2’ lanes, and only operate for a max of three peak hours, NO permanent ones. Instead of more empty flats, the city needs more car parks. Shops could be asked to open later, moving shoppers and shop workers out of the 9-5 trap, with them staying open later too.
Lucy White: Parking charges on Edward Street have shot up ridiculously with the development of Victoria Gate. It used to be all day for £6, the equivalent is now £30!! How do they get away with this?
Jennifer Bainbridge: More Park and Rides. No point sitting in a car adding to the traffic, complaining about traffic, as if you’re not part of the problem. Get the bus lanes used properly.
Dominic Hill: Thousands of people in Leeds that drive to work live within a fairly short cycle ride of the city centre. If people are to be encouraged to cycle it needs to be made safer though. The infrastructure at the moment sucks.
Sy Potter: Everywhere has its bad areas, some areas that were notorious for trouble and crime are not as bad as they were but the reputation still puts people off.
Carolyn Riley: I’m more worried about the cutbacks than being scared to go a certain area or traffic!.
Mick Lucani: Agree with the congestion, and the cycle lane things, as for the no go areas, couldn’t say really, I don’t go anywhere else except the City Centre and my own locality of Aireborough and Wharfedale on my bike. Parking at weekends needs to be free if they want us to go into the City. Went in on Saturday to buy my Missus a new coat, paid for two hours parking at pound per hour, that’s as much as I was prepared to pay, would have stayed longer and spent more money in the shops were it not for the parking charges. I’ve already paid for the roads and the City infrastructure through taxation/VAT/road fund licence/fuel duty so I object to paying out more to park as well.
HOW TO TACKLE CRIME
Address anti-social behaviour
More CCTV particularly down King Charles Street where a lot of homeless people congregate drinking and sleeping.
Increase police foot patrols in residential areas
More police on foot around housing estates as well as towns
More police on the streets and mixing/visible within the communities
More foot patrols, more CCTV cameras so one feels safe walking around
I believe every resident in the city should pay to have security officers on the streets at all times
I would make sure ALL areas of Leeds is covered by working CCTV. Some areas have signs saying CCTV in the areas but as a resident you know it is untrue.
Make the streets safe in our communities
Bigger police presence on the streets
Make the streets safer
Really clamp down on crime and anti-social behaviour with harsh sentences and proper prisons
More police presence with a lot more power
More police on beat
I would like to see more actual police constables walking around for people to talk to, feel safer by seeing them and if people got used to them being around on foot it would deter crime and burglaries in the communities.
Reduce anti-social behaviour in the evenings
More police on the streets to deter the drug dealers/ some where for our young teens to go instead of hanging round on street corners.
More bobbies on the street
More police on the beat
I feel safe in my locality but I feel there are areas that would benefit from more policing
More police to be seen on the streets in Leeds centre then people can enjoy the city, market, entertainment and safely catch the last bus home
More high profiling policing in all areas
I would reduce drinking hours - problem related to excessive drinking are unacceptable behaviour, fights and hospital
Put more police in all areas day and night
I would like Leeds city centre to be safer for our grandchildren (teenagers) and more police about in all areas, not only on foot.
More police on the streets to control illegal parking and unruly and aggressive behaviour.
Double the amount of police on foot and police presence generally. More restraint on gangs hanging around street corners at night
Stamp out anti-social behaviour
More police presence. Remove youngsters from hanging around shops it can be intimidating.
Stop people drinking in gangs on the main streets.
Tackle the culture of anti-social behaviour which blights large areas of inner city Leeds.
Make it much safer, particularly the city centre on a night time
Crime in general is getting out of control ion my neighbourhood. In the past 12 months we have been victims of burglary and had our vehicle broken into and property stole. Somebody has recently attempted to break into our garage. It is unfair criticising the police as they have had massive budget cuts.
I would create a zero tolerance approach to certain areas of Leeds. This approach was implemented to New York and was extremely effective in crime reduction.
I’d like to feel safer when it is dark outside, especially after eight in the evening.
Get tougher on burglary in certain parts of Leeds as its getting completely ridiculous these days.
SOLVING TRANSPORT ISSUES
The transport network in to the city centre is abysmal, the roads are too congested but public transport is a joke so road improvements are a must.
Allow motorcycle to use bus lanes. Re-think the whole transport system. Make it easier to park and use local shops.
Improve transport - new train station and/or tram.
Re-open railway lines closed years ago to take more traffic off the roads.
Better public transport system.
More cycle lanes on key corridoors. Remove through traffic from the city centre.
Mass transit system. The public transport in this city is appalling for a city of its size and ambition.
Have free Sunday and evening parking in the centre.
Pedestrianise the city centre and remove access to the inner ring road for cars. Introduce shared surfacing. This would make the city car friendly and inviting for pedestrian/cycle use and create a much better environment.
Build a decent mass transit system underground.
Promote cycling more and create more cycle lanes. Invest in transport systems aimed at REDUCING congestion and cars on the road, NOT ones that make themselves attractive by stating they will increase revenue from fuel due to congestion.
Subsidise affordable and reliable public transport so it becomes a cheaper alternative to private means.
Bigger, better airport and better links/road to the airport.
The transport system is terrible. The bus routes are fine but the service is too infrequent in the evenings and on Sundays.
Free parking to encourage city centre shopping.
I would build an underground system which is by far the best to get traffic off the roads.
Improve the transport infrastructure and make the city a transition city like Bristol.
The streets are too congested for cyclists and pedestrians to share the same space.
Improvements to rush hour traffic.
Ban cars from the city centre and sort the transport infrastructure to provide regular, clean and effective public transport including trams.
Better reliability of public transport.
Close The Headrow to all traffic (7am - midnight) from the Town Hall to Vicar Lane, this would create a fully pedestrian area up to the Merrion Centre.
Have a centralised transport hub where buses and trains can be easily interconnected, including a rail link to the airport.
20mph speed limits in all residential areas.
Find ways to better manage traffic through the city and prioritise other modes of transport over cars and other motorised transport.
More late night transport trains/buses
Introduce an Oyster card for the buses and have electric buses.
Introduce the trolley bus or a similar scheme to reduce congestion.
Focus on pedestrians and cyclists rather than cars.
Roads need to be improved eg pot holes.
More park and ride schemes in the right places.
Reinstate rail stations such as Scholes, Barwick, Aberford and other small outlying villages,
I think park and ride schemes should be built around the outskirts of Leeds - like other cities have.
Improve traffic congestion through Headingley and Hyde Park area - roads are inadequate for traffic.
Make both parking in the city centre and bus fares cheaper. Also sometimes cheaper to drive and park than get a bus.
Make Leeds a safer place for cyclists. I would put cycle lanes on every road and signs for motorists turning into a road to be aware of cyclists.
FROM YEP WEBSITE
Sagalout: I do feel sympathy for working people who have been squeezed so much financially. The working tax credit only encourages employers to pay less. The minimum wage quickly became a maximum wage is inadequate for today’s cost of living. It has created a situation where being on benefits is a better option than working. We must create and enforce a ‘living wage’ consistent with the actual cost of living across the country. Businesses always moan that they will go bust, but they won’t. They will just have to increase their prices and allow market forces to balance. When it does there will be more work and we can get people off benefits and paying tax. As for food banks - I’ve considered using them too, I should think everybody has, I just don’t know if I would qualify and what the rules are.
Raveydavey: It’s all very well asking such broad questions but you have to look at what is causing the congestion. Take York Road for example. Traffic used to tail back from Selby Road right to the Torre Rd flyover on a night heading out of Leeds - then the M1 extension opened removing nearly all the heavy goods vehicles and most of the through traffic from the M62 heading towards York and the North East.Traffic levels dropped massively overnight - my run home took nearly half the time it had done previously.Then the council decided to install the misguided bus lanes, with bus priority traffic lights and to install pelican crossings where there had previously been bridges or underpasses and the traffic was immediately snarled up worse than ever before. Instead of tailing back to the Torre Road flyover, traffic now tails back onto the Woodpecker flyover and down the Inner Ring Road!Not only that but the “bus” lanes are also open to taxis (how are they eco-friendly? It’s still a car), minibuses, empty patient transport ambulances running back to the depot at Seacroft Hospital and anyone else who fancies taking a very good gamble that there won’t be any bobbies about (which there never are). Every single one of which triggers the bus priority lights and stops everything - even if it’s only 5 seconds since the lights were last on red. That is what causes much of the congestion - the deliberate engineering of congestion into the city highways by the very people tasked with keeping things moving.
Nissanman: It is absolutely stupid still having the bus lane camera still active on Vicar Lane / Headrow junction whilst the construction work is taking place. It causes bad congestion coming up from Eastgate which could be avoided if they allow traffic through Vicar Lane.
Jamesinleeds: . Mini roundabout on Meanwood Road, much more queuing as traffic frustrated. North Street to Sheepscar reduced from two lanes to one lane - much longer queues of traffic to get to Meanwood Road. Highways Agency increasing capacity and smoothing flows, Leeds City Council appear to reduce capacity and slow / stop-start traffic.
tg69: Its ok to get busses etc when a bus passes your home every 10 minutes but some of us only have one bus an hour so not quite so simple.
LS5: Wou ldn’t be popular but a London style rush hour congestion charge, with the money funding park and ride and bus/cycle lanes would go a long way to solving a fundamental problem. Leeds is gridlocked every morning and every evening. It can take 40-60 minutes to get 4 miles. Fewer people need to commute by car, and for that to happen, we need fast, efficient railways and park and ride services.
Yorkydevil: Fantastic idea ! Why is it that motorists think that everything has to be to the benefit of them. Why should we have road improvements to help more cars to enter the city. The Headrow and certain other routes should be private traffic free, buses only. We are getting obsessed with using cars. Get back to using your legs, provided your able to.