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Call to ban HGVs from north Leeds suburb

HGVs on the A660
HGVs on the A660
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Community chiefs in Headingley have called on the council to ban HGVs from a main road through the suburb amid fears the number of trucks passing through is rising.

Headingley Development Trust is “strongly urging” council bosses to look at introducing new measures after a traffic survey by trust members found an HGV passed through Headingley every minute during a five-hour period.

Volunteers carried out a count of the number of trucks passing up and down the A660 in August, between 6am and 8pm, and observed nearly 680 HGVs in that time.

Helen Seymour, trust chairwoman, said: “This work has come about because Headingley residents have been increasingly concerned at the increase in the number of HGVs, particularly large aggregate and roadstone trucks from the quarries in North Yorkshire using the Otley Road/Headingley Lane as a short cut to the motorway network.”

The trust has created a report which has gone to the ward’s elected members as well as council bosses.

It says: “Headingley residents are well aware of the heavy lorries rumbling past just a few feet from the pavements and shop fronts of Headingley, but these are not the only impacts. The Otley Road is also the busiest - and most dangerous - road for cycling in Leeds, while air quality monitoring at the roadside in the centre of Headingley shows that particulate levels regularly exceed World Health Organisation guidelines”

It added: “We ask Leeds City Council to acknowledge that the A660 through Headingley is not an appropriate through route for longer distance HGV traffic and to instigate a restriction on all HGV traffic except for local deliveries and vehicles whose journey starts or ends on the A660.”

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “The A660 is a designated primary route from north west Leeds and the Yorkshire Dales into the city centre and it forms one of three major traffic routes in the north of the city. While we are always interested to hear residents’ concerns, it is important to be aware that HGVs form only around 2 percent of all the traffic on this route into the city with many of these serving local businesses.

“There are no simple alternatives or solutions in north Leeds for reaching motorways and other road networks. Diverting vehicles that do not serve the local area could well involve longer journeys, diversions through residential estates and also raises the question of their enforcement.

“In terms of safety, the number of incidents involving HGVs are low, but we are constantly working to improve road safety and reduce road casualties and will continue to engage with the government, distribution industry and operators to seek improved safety of HGVs.”