Fresh details have been revealed about plans to improve transport links between Leeds Dock and the rest of the city centre.
The former Clarence Dock site has struggled to attract visitors since opening in 2008, partly as a result of its relatively isolated position on the south-eastern outskirts of the city centre.
Measures now being proposed to tackle the problem include a shuttle bus service, a free or low-fare water taxi, better cycle routes and car sharing initiatives.
The majority of the £1.5m cost of the transport improvements would be met by Leeds Dock owner Allied London, although Leeds City Council could make a contribution as part of its efforts to drive regeneration of the wider South Bank area.
If the council agrees to back the scheme, it would plough £50,000 into so-called ‘public realm enhancements’ between Leeds City Station and Leeds Dock, with another £25,000 going on cycling and bus stop provision.
The local authority would also make an as-yet-unspecified contribution to the cost of the shuttle bus service, which would run between the station and the dock via Hunslet Road.
Senior councillors will discuss the proposed support package at a meeting of the authority’s executive board taking place tomorrow (Nov 19).
A report compiled by council officers for the meeting says: “The issues surrounding the lack of success of the area are related to connectivity issues from the city centre.
“By making the proposed investments in public realm and public transport improvements the city council will be able to lever in substantial contributions in excess of our own investment from Allied London and resolve the connectivity issues.
“This will help to ensure the success of Leeds Dock in providing both employment and leisure opportunities .... and help to stimulate and consolidate other developments in the rest of the South Bank.”
Allied London bought Leeds Dock in 2012 and hopes to transform it into one of the UK’s premier ‘work and play’ spaces.
Plans to turn the mixed use site’s former Alea casino building into office space tailored for creative, media and technology businesses were approved by the city council earlier this year.
Nearby developments such as Leeds City College’s Hunslet Road-based Printworks Campus and a new Leeds College of Building facility on Hunslet Lane and Black Bull Street are also helping close the geographical gap between the dock and the city centre.