Speed limits on outer Leeds ring road could be cut after fatal accidents

Transport chiefs are planning to slash the speed limit across part of Leeds’ outer ring road in a bid to improve safety.

Limits on the road vary across different sections as it orbits the city, but drivers can travel at 70 miles per hour (mph) either side of Dawson’s Corner at Pudsey in west Leeds.

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Now the city council has revealed plans to cut that section to 50 miles per hour, to reduce the risk of collisions and deaths in the area.

The new limit would be enforced by average speed cameras.

The new limit would be enforced by average speed cameras.

The move follows an inquiry into road safety across Leeds by a group of backbench councillors, following a rise in the number of fatal accidents in the years before lockdown.

Among 20 recommendations the group have put forward is to explore the use of more average speed cameras.

The issue was raised at a scrutiny meeting on Wednesday, at which the council’s chief officer for highways, Gary Bartlett, was asked about the stretch of the ring road between Dawson’s Corner and Horsforth, to the north.

The council’s chief officer for highways, Gary Bartlett, was asked about the stretch of the ring road between Dawson’s Corner and Horsforth, to the north.

Mr Bartlett said: “One of the concerns we have in that part of the world, certainly on the ring road north and south of Dawson’s Corner are the high speeds that are experienced outside peak hours.

“We’ve had some very nasty fatals on certain sections as you will be aware.

“On that section hopefully there will be a 50mph speed limit and it will be governed by cameras.

“Everyone will have to move through that system very calmly and safely at those speeds.”

Mr Bartlett likened the approach to certains sections of the A1, which currently have enforced 50mph limits because of roadworks.

He said those parts of the motorway were “a very calm environment because everyone is sticking to the 50mph, because they know they will be prosecuted (if they don’t).”

He added: “We want to get that on certain sections of our ring road.

“We want to bring forward this change in criteria to put them on that part of the ring road at the earliest opportunity.

“We want to extend it to perhaps across the whole of the ring road in due course.”