Numbers behind Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy to become city without need for a car

Leeds City Council's new vision for transport is to a place where a car is not needed - but what are the key components behind that overall goal?

Saturday, 16th January 2021, 4:45 pm

The draft Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy is built around targets for addressing the climate emergency, reducing distances travelled by car, reducing serious injuries and fatalities on the city's roads and changing the amount we use certain types of transport.

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Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy sets out vision for city without the need fo...

The council passed a climate emergency motion in 2019, which included working to make Leeds carbon neutral by 2030. It is 20 years ahead of the national target of net-zero by 2050 - and one of the key targets behind the draft transport strategy.

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An artist's impression of how the Headrow could look as walking and cycling routes are prioritised as part of Connecting Leeds work already under way.

The declaration of a climate emergency prompted the Big Leeds Climate Conversation consultation, which found 93.4 per cent of respondents believed climate change is due to human activity.

Of those who took part, more than two-thirds said they already walk or cycle journeys of less than a mile, 13.2 per cent said they would take the bus or train more often, and more than a quarter say they would consider switching to a hybrid or electric car.

Encouraging more people to switch to greener transport is reflected in more of the targets contained within the draft transport strategy.

The first is a set of 'modal shifts' with targets to increase current levels of walking by 33 per cent, cycling by 400 per cent and use of buses by 130 per cent, while doubling the volume of rail travel and reducing car use by 30 per cent.

The second is reducing the lengths of car trips in the city by 30 per cent - that is on average 900 car miles per year.Its final target being built into the strategy is a Vision Zero commitment to ensure there are no people being seriously injured or killed on the city's roads by the year 2040.

Simple steps that it suggests the public can take to help to achieve the various targets include starting to leave the car at home one day a week, visiting places by public transport, having a web meeting instead of travelling in person and walking the children to school.

The public consultation begun into Leeds City Council's draft strategy comes a year on from the launch of the Yorkshire Evening Post's Unlock the Gridlock campaign, which set out five key transport priorities in response to concerns consistently raised by readers about the congestion and unreliable public transport networks that were blighting their lives on a daily basis.

It will run until March 26, before the feedback from the public and other stakeholders is reviewed. An updated strategy is then expected to be published in early summer.

Visit leedstransportstrategy.commonplace.is/ to learn more about the proposals, read the draft strategy in full or make comments.

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