New bridge over River Aire to be among £10m Leeds city centre improvements

Plans to spend more than £10m on three city centre green space schemes are set to go before Leeds City Council decision-makers next week.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 3:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 3:32 pm

The latest part of what the council calls its “grey to green” project will involve revamping roads and public spaces at Meadow Lane and Crown Point Road, as well as creating a new foot and cycle bridge over the River Aire at Sovereign Street.

A report, set to go before the counci’s decision-making executive board, states the council has been given £8.6m of government cash to fund the scheme overall which, when added to £3.6m of council funding, makes up £12.2m.

The report claimed the latest parts of the scheme would create an extra 6,700 square metres of new public spaces – the equivalent of 1.6 acres – adding: “When combined, these four interrelated investments shall make Leeds City Centre greener and more attractive; helping to unlock major commercial and residential development across South Bank and the centre of Leeds, as well as the delivery of private sector investment into the Aire Park; the largest new city centre green space in the region.”

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An artist's impression of the proposed Sovereign Street Bridge.

The document added that work to create new green space in Meadow Lane would cost around £3.25m. Work on the site, which is adjacent to the northwest edge of the former Tetley’s Brewery site, and would “re-prioritise” Meadow Lane from a four-lane road to a two lane traffic route with cycleways and walking routes, with uninterrupted green space on the route.

Work to build the new Sovereign Street bridge will cost around £3.7m and would connect newly-redeveloped areas of the south bank to Sovereign Street.

The arched bridge would be 4.5 metres wide, with space for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as LED lighting which can create a “rainbow effect” at night.

The document added: “The primary objective of the new bridge is to provide a traffic free-route across the River Aire and improve connectivity to and from the City Centre and South Bank, improving access to jobs, homes, leisure opportunities and transport links, particularly the rail station.

“It will improve access by foot and cycle for the residents of the surrounding communities to the employment and leisure opportunities generated by the redevelopment of the South Bank, Sovereign Street and Holbeck, encouraging investment in the heart of the city.”

The Crown Point Road scheme is expected to cost around £3.75m, and will reduce space for traffic to a single lane, with two new cycle lanes and extra green space.

The document is set to go before members of Leeds City Council’s Executive Board on Wednesday, April 21.