These busy Leeds roads will be CLOSED for World Car Free Day 2019

Part of North Lane, Headingley, will be closed for World Car Free Day 2019
Part of North Lane, Headingley, will be closed for World Car Free Day 2019
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Busy roads in Otley, Headingley and Beeston Hill will be closed next week as Leeds Council takes part in World Car Free Day 2019.

Parts of three roads will be turned into 'safe community spaces' and all vehicles will be barred from 11am until 5pm on Sunday, September 22.

Leeds Council says the event will encourage citizens to choose more sustainable ways to travel, such as taking the bus, cycling or walking.

The council will work with community groups to host family-friendly activities, information stalls and food and crafts during the road closures.

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Which roads will be closed?

Parts of three busy roads in Leeds will be closed during the event:

Boroughghate in Otley

North Lane in Headingley

Tempest Road in Beeston Hill

North Lane in Headingley closed during 'freshers' week

Leeds Council has come under fire for closing North Lane, in the busy student area of Headingley, on the weekend before the University term starts.

A furious business owner believes the closure will have a negative impact for students moving to the area for the first time.

Shirley Phillipson, who owns the Dress Up and Party fancy dress shop on North Lane, said: "There will be so many cars going through Headingley for the first time.

"Nobody will have a clue where to go, it is the main road through.

"Parents will be dropping their children off and having to queue in traffic, not knowing where to go.

"This will cause more congestion if anything.

"It doesn't make sense to me."

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How have the council defended the closures?

Cllr Lisa Mulherin, Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development, said that tackling air pollution had to be a priority for the council.

She said: "Like most of our city's residents, Leeds City Council believes that tackling air pollution to protect the health of everyone in our city is a priority.

"In Leeds, more of our outdoor air pollution comes from the exhausts of diesel and petrol vehicles than from any other source. We can all make a real difference to air quality in our communities by choosing to leave the car at home more often.

"By closing roads for the day and hosting family-friendly and community-led events in the heart of some of Leeds' most vibrant neighbourhoods, residents will have the opportunity to come together with their neighbours to enjoy the activates on offer and consider how we might all reduce our carbon footprint and improve air quality."

Headingley Development Trust, which is hosting the event along with Leeds Council, said that business owners have largely been supportive of the scheme.

Board member Matthew Hill said: "We have contacted many of the local businesses on North Lane who have been supportive of the event and are working with the Leeds Council to minimise traffic disruption for the Sunday afternoon when the road will be closed.

"It is not our intention to inconvenience any local businesses, but the carbon emissions and air pollution from road traffic is a major concern both locally and internationally and we do need to address this issue."

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