Motorists hit out at plan to turn A61 Harrogate road in north Leeds into single lane

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Residents and commuters have been hitting out at plans to transform a main route through north Leeds from a dual carriageway into a single lane.

Leeds City Council is currently consulting on plans to add new bus and cycle lanes to the A61 Harrogate Road through Alwoodley, restricting cars to one lane, and removing some on-street parking.

New controlled bus ‘gates’, giving buses priority, would be introduced at key junctions under the plans, and a further bus lane built on the route through Moortown into the city.

The plans are part of the council’s Connecting Leeds project, to encourage more people to use buses and boost reliability during peak periods.

But feedback online to the plans and on the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Facebook page has been overwhelmingly negative.

Charlie Rosenberg posted: “It’s one of the most ridiculous proposals I think I’ve ever seen. I genuinely can’t see any value to anyone. Just disruption and inconvenience. Madness.”

Another comment on the plans’ website reads: “This will cause traffic chaos and will create queues in the morning all the way from the ring road to Wigton Lane.”

Coun and shadow transport spokesman for the council, Neil Buckley (Con, Alwoodley) said: “People have been asking why on earth are they proposing to take a lane away for cars when they are having to queue at rush hour anyway?

“We feel there are other solutions that can be deployed before having to take away a lane.”

North East Leeds MP Fabian Hamilton (Lab) said: “Leeds City Council are right to focus on encouraging both the use of buses and cycling, with the aim of reducing road pollution. As a keen cyclist, I believe it is vital for the environment and for people’s health that we continue to encourage cycling wherever possible. I would therefore encourage my constituents to take part in the consultation and let Leeds City Council know what they think of the proposals.”

A spokesman for Leeds City Council said: “Working with partners, we have set out through Connecting Leeds a range of proposals to make travelling around the city and beyond as fast and efficient as possible by improving all aspects of the transport network, particularly public transport.

“Community and public engagement is central to our work, and we are currently undertaking a public consultation around proposed infrastructure improvements to support buses being quicker and more reliable on Harrogate Road. This follows an initial public consultation around the plans earlier this year.”

A public drop-in session will be held on Thursday October 4 from 5-8pm at the Tree Tops Community Centre on Squirrel Way, Moortown.

To view the plans visit https://a61nqtc.commonplace.is/overview

The deadline to comment on the plans is October 20.