Green light for Leeds cycle superhighway extension as ‘white elephant’ claims dismissed

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MULTI million pound proposals to extend to Leeds’s cycle superhighway were given the nod by councillors despite one senior Conservative saying he would not support the project.

Conservative Group leader Coun Andrew Carter (Calverley and Farsley) told a meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board that people in his ward had suffered from the “imposition” of the first cycle route.

The 23km CityConnect1 route runs from Seacroft in east Leeds to the city centre and then out westwards through Pudsey to the middle of Bradford.

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The £29m Government funded project drew criticism from some residents during construction.

Executive board members approved the first phase of City Connect2. A total of £6.5m has been made available for the project from the Government’s Cycling City Ambition Grant programme.

It involves extending the superhighway through the city centre on routes such as Wellington Street-City Square, Queen Street-Westgate and from Leeds Bridge into the South Bank regeneration area.

Coun Carter said: “I will not be supporting it, having just had my ward suffer from the imposition of CityConnect1.” Coun Richard Lewis, executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, conceded disruption went on for too long in some areas during CityConnnect1 construction, but said he has seen a “massive increase” in cycling in Leeds.

Coun Lewis added: “The critics have perhaps been a little quieter of late in terms of saying we have just built a white elephant, far from it. I think this is a long-term investment that in 20 or 30 years time people will be saying Leeds did the right thing in expanding cycling facilities.”

Michael Tennant.

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