Leeds’s South Bank revolution has moved up a gear with the official reopening of Little Neville Street following a £500,000 refurbishment.
The road has been turned into a pedestrian and cycle zone with the aim of improving access to the £17m southern entrance to Leeds City Station.
A new road surface has been laid while other changes include the installation of natural stone seating, cycle racks and a cast-iron centrepiece that celebrates the area’s rich industrial heritage.
The refurbishment, carried out by Leeds City Council with support from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, means the road now has a direct connection to the Dark Arches.
And civic chiefs hope it will also help open up access to the South Bank area, earmarked for a development drive that would effectively double the size of the city centre.
The council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Coun Richard Lewis, said: “We are very pleased that the work on Little Neville Street is now complete and the result is an attractive public space offering improved access to and from the station as well as the Dark Arches and the South Bank.
“We look forward to seeing it being well used each day and would like to thank the surrounding businesses especially Hilton Hotels, Direct Line and the Golf Bar for their support and patience while the work was being carried out.”
Although the revamped street is off-limits to most general traffic, it has two time-limited disabled parking spaces that can be used by people visiting the station.
Plans for the refurbishment were drawn up with input from the council’s equality hub to make sure the design was as inclusive as possible.
Tim McSharry, head of disability and diversity at the Access Committee for Leeds, said: “From the first blueprint to spades hitting the ground, this scheme has been an exemplar of meaningful community engagement and a true partnership linking the council’s highways team and members of the Leeds Disability Hub, working jointly to deliver a truly innovative public environment that embraces the inclusion, mobility and independence of all who may access the Leeds Station southern entrance.”
Leeds’s South Bank stretches from Holbeck’s ‘urban village’ to Leeds Dock. To take part in a consultation on its future, visit www.southbankleeds.co.uk.