Developers pay for £2.6m improvements on key Leeds commuter route

A scheme funded by Leeds developers to make a key city commuter route easier to travel on will go before senior councillors next week.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 3:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 4:59 pm
Number One Leeds, Whitehall Road.
Number One Leeds, Whitehall Road.

The improvement plans in the Whitehall Road area on the edge of the city centre will include new pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes and widening of the road to create extra space for buses.

The £2.61 million cost is paid by Section 106 funds that developers are required to pay when they are given permission to build in a local area.

Officials say the project will not only aim to ease traffic flow in one of the city’s key commuter routes, but also offset the potential impact of emerging plans to reduce the traffic in nearby City Square by 2021.

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Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said:

“The Whitehall Road area has seen some major new developments in recent years, with more on the way, and that will of course mean more people travelling in and around the area by bike, on foot and on public transport.

“These planned improvements to Whitehall Road will make a real difference, and will be paid for entirely by contributions from developers, meaning their projects will not only contribute to a stronger local economy but will also mean a better commuting experience for those travelling and working in the Whitehall Road area.

“Other exciting plans are also in progress that we believe will fundamentally change the way people travel around Leeds centre over the next five years.

“This work will allow us to help future proof some of the very important roads in the city centre, whilst providing some great improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.”

At next week’s meeting of the council’s executive board, councillors will be asked to approve improvement works at the junction of Northern Street and Whitehall Road along with the spending of £2.61m of section 106 money contributed by developers.

The full programme of works will include widening of Whitehall Road to the north and south sides and widening of Northern Street to create separate cycling facilities.

The junction of Whitehall Road and Northern Street would also be widened to accommodate pedestrian crossing facilities and more room for traffic.

If approved, work on the project would be expected to start in January and take around 48 weeks.