Gridlocked Leeds: Here's how Yorkshire Evening Post readers responded to our special report on the city's traffic problems

This week your YEP put the spotlight on the traffic chaos which drives Leeds motorists and bus commuters to despair on a daily basis.

Saturday, 30th November 2019, 6:00 am
YEP readers have been having their say on the problems facing Leeds commuters.

We said now is the time for a new transport vision to end the city’s gridlock misery.

We asked for your opinions on what you would like to see done to solve the problem - and here’s how you responded.

You can share your own views by commenting on this story on Facebook, tweet us @LeedsNews or email [email protected]

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The i newsletter cut through the noise

Simon Flint

Park and rides will be the way. What about that abandoned children’s play centre that’s laid crumbling for over a decade down the A64 in East Leeds? That used to actually be a tram station and it has already had previous plans to adapt into a train station (it’s right on the rail way bridge at Halton). There’s got to be space for a good couple of hundred cars there. It’s 15 minutes from there into the city by car in no traffic, eight minutes from Cross Gates Station, so no doubt five minutes tops from there on train.

If I were driving from afar into Leeds I’d much sooner park up there for £5-6 for the day with train travel included, be into the city centre within five minutes and not be queuing round desperately trying to find a spot for the day costing double as much for parking in a multi-storey.

Murray Craigen

Police or traffic officers on the street directing traffic through the non-working lights and at peak traffic levels.

To prevent trouble after football matches in Scotland, the police would stand at every major junction leaving a city and traffic flowed like you wouldn’t believe.

Employers allowing people to work from home and having more flexible work times would assist. Additionally traffic light timings don’t change with the clocks so the timing is knocked out in winter causing delays.

Darran Pryce

Most of our roads have got 1960/70s infrastructure. Then they build stupid retail parks with lots of silly traffic lights in areas that are already busy, Kirkstall Retail Park being one of them. The traffic around that area since it was built is terrible. Build a tram service from Shadwell/Middleton to Leeds city centre. That would sort a lot of issues out.


Stop wasting money on cycle lanes causing major disruption. Leeds City Council is just trying to make itself look good doing their bit for the environment but wasting millions of pounds of money. Start charging cyclist for using cycle lanes - us motorist have to pay to have our cars on the road, so should they.

Steve Ward

Leeds, like all cities, has a traffic problem. The only solution is to reduce car use. Leeds, like other cities, will introduce a congestion charge (we have it for heavy vehicles). I always think it is poor leadership to tax out of a problem. However, I don’t see another solution to a global issue.

Paigon Karren Johnstone

I would happily leave my car at home when going into Leeds, but there’s no proper cheap reliable public transport. Just got back from Berlin, no need for a car there!

Pete Mitchell

Scrap the stupid pedestrianised areas and cycle lanes. Instead, widen the roads in the city centre and sort the traffic management out... also while you’re at it, sort out Wyther Lane/Leeds Bradford/ Kirkstall Bridge traffic lights... three cars at a time, what an absolute joke!

Barry Cardiss

It is much better than it was.This is a political agenda against cars, the outcome will be against the driver. The air in Leeds is far cleaner than when I was young.

Paul Handley

By widening roads, scrapping bus and cycle lanes, having synchronised and coordinated traffic management systems, providing more and cheaper car parking, stopping and reversing pedestrianisation and by fining road construction/repair companies for unnecessary and excessive coning! Simples.

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Biggest problem is Leeds has massively expanded in the last 20 years, look at the number of new flats/offices etc, but aside from a bus lane on Kirkstall Road (good in parts) and a pointless cycle lane, nothing has been done to improve the city’s infrastructure!

Kirkstall Forge was a great idea, badly executed and adding yet more train stations without the capacity isn’t going to make it better, only worse!

You can’t be so ‘anti car’ when there’s no alternative (it is so much worse!)

Luke Senior

Traffic light cameras. The gridlock at Tingley roundabout is almost exclusively caused by idiot drivers running red lights and blocking exits for oncoming traffic.

I’m sure it’ll be a similar tale elsewhere.

Other causes and solutions too, but this would be a start.

Marty Shand

Build a park and ride train system rather than relying on buses. Edinburgh is a perfect example. There are three rail park and rides around the city. Park for free and then an affordable train trip into the city.

Surjeet Singh

All I know is Leeds is terrible for traffic, especially around Armley Gyratory, M621, M62, M1 and Kirkstall Road deserves an award for its gridlock during rush hours.

To make it even worse all we need is an accident in this area and whole city centre comes to a halt.

Jane McDaid

It doesn’t help when the council/highways have roadworks ongoing throughout every part of Leeds city centre. For example York Street: major roadworks completed but now highways are using it to store materials, lorries etc for ongoing works near The Headrow, therefore forcing more traffic towards Marsh Lane into the city centre loop. Any issues once traffic is in the loop then that’s it, game over, there is no option for traffic to leave as it’s all in one loop. I have tried several times as I work in Leeds train station. As other people have said there is no alternative transport, especially working shift work as there’s certainly no buses at 3am to get me home - if there was I would be more than happy to leave my car at home.

Cheryl Day Dockerty

It doesn’t need an accident to come to a halt. Not often I go into Leeds but every time we have taken a taxi lately we have got stuck in traffic, with row upon row of buses queuing being the main cause. It’s never been great but whatever they have done has made it 100 times worse. I’m so glad I don’t work in the city centre any more.

Kovilen Kaliapermall

The city centre is getting worse day by day. All these unnecessary projects, so-called new look and closing roads to create two bike lanes is just ridiculous and a waste of public money.

Teresa Colley

Since I cycle to work everyday I find it pretty easy to travel round Leeds city centre when it’s gridlocked (I do not use cycles lanes as none on my route). Because I have a dog I need to get home in time so I wouldn’t use my car (yes, I pay my car tax of £210) as it takes longer to get from Park Lane to the gyratory.

Emma Fearby

We desperately need an alternative to buses and cars! I’d convert the super cycle highway between Leeds and Bradford to bus lanes for starters. I’d also like to see a much more frequent bus service for the 91 and 508. I use this combination to go to work but have to come back via Leeds city centre or it takes me three hours to get home from work. I can’t walk 14 miles each way for work although sometimes it would be quicker to walk.

Martine Stead

To get from Meanwood to Seacroft it’s three buses (including dropping kids off at school). In the morning it takes an hour and half, evening can be two hours or more. If I’m late to pick up kids because of unreliable buses I get a late charge. It’s six miles in two hours. That’s why I use my car. Public transport is horrendous if you’re going anywhere other than the city centre!

Clive Trueman

We all can’t be wrong about the cycle lane issue,surely? Buckle down and supply public transport that works and I believe a reduction in traffic volume will occur. But we have a patchwork of responses.

Angela Vickers

Gridlocked every night, bike lanes empty, bus lanes empty. Traffic lights at red and blocking other roads. Total chaos.

Paul Dickens

The cycle lane should have been bus lanes, cycle lanes don’t offer value for money as not enough cyclists use it to justify cost.

Deryck Thorp.

Worst city in UK, obsessed with cycle lanes.

Phil Grimshaw

I wouldn’t worry about it - when LCC has finished with their vehicle charges there will hardly be any traffic.

Alex Irving

How can pollution be improved when the council’s recent schemes have gridlocked the roads?

Ronnie Francey

Transport in Leeds is shocking. Like a third world country

Suzanne Nichols

It’s just horrendous at rush hour, if there’s an accident it’s gridlocked everywhere and the loop is ridiculous.

Glenn Schofield

If they didn’t tear up half of city centre for pointless cycle lanes, there probably wouldn’t be as many grid locks.

Louise Isabella Wilkinson

Leeds traffic is awful, one thing happens and the whole place is gridlocked.

Cath Sawyer

too much focus on cycle lanes, no real alternative for motorists, the roads have been reduced so that gridlock is inevitable.