Almost 900 road closures hit Leeds during 2021 as council lays out plans for newest round of works

Approximately 900 road closures and 30,000 street works have been overseen by the council in the last 12 months as Leeds prepares for its latest round of improvements.

By Alex Grant
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 9:59 am

These numbers were revealed by the council as they laid out their plans for 2022.

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This new year Connecting Leeds will start construction on several major highways’ schemes, which are all part of transforming travel in the city and across the district.

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Works will begin first on the Armley Gyratory, before focusing on roads around City Square, Leeds railway station and along routes linking to the city centre.

Works will begin first on the Armley Gyratory, before focusing on roads around City Square, Leeds railway station and along routes linking to the city centre.

This will be the first phase to create a world-class public space and arrival gateway to the city centre for train, bus users, pedestrians, and cyclists, and will eventually see City Square closed to through traffic in readiness for the Year of Culture in 2023.

“This year marks another major step in meeting our ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030, as well as our preparation for the 2023 Year of Culture." explained Coun Helen Hayden, executive member for infrastructure and climate.

"These works will transform the city centre, with the changes to City Square and the train station helping cement Leeds a first-class city to live in or visit."

Mayor Brabin views planned changes to Armley Gyratory as a key part of plans to make Leeds a safer and healthier environment.

Over £100m has been put towards transformative highways works seeking to overturn historic barriers and issues developed from the ‘Leeds Motorway City’ of the 1970s.

This created substantial ‘through traffic’ across the city centre, which has contributed to environmental issues and disconnected neighbourhoods – which can make it more difficult for people to travel on foot or cycling between different areas.

Leeds City Council’s approach to re-route traffic away from the city centre on to the more appropriate Inner Ring Road and the M621 orbital route following the closure of City Square, will enable public transport, walking, cycling and public realm plans to be realised in the city.

Although subject to change, the construction timetable covers these affected areas:

Winter 2022

Armley Gyratory starting with off-highways, then on-highways.

Boar Lane.

Crown Point Road.

Neville Street / Meadow Road.

Bishopgate Street – works for diverting utilities.

Spring 2022

Great Wilson Street.

Aire Street, King Street and Wellington Street.

Lady Lane.

Summer 2022

East Parade bus gate and Calverley Street.

Bishopgate Street and Dark Neville Street.

Quebec Street.

Late summer

The final closure of vehicular access to City Square.

This spring will also see works complete around the Corn Exchange gateway scheme, Leeds bus station, A647 Leeds to Bradford route, the A61 south towards Stourton, Regent Street flyover, and the extension to Temple Green park and ride.

Over the past three years the council has made big progress in the delivery of people-first infrastructure and public spaces across the city centre. There has been around £200m invested in improving Leeds City Centre, including the Leeds Public Transport Improvement Programme.

For West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin, planned improvements to Armley Gyratory are most exciting.

“I welcome the planned Improvements to Armley Gyratory supporting our vision to make this part of Leeds a safer and healthier environment for public transport users, pedestrians and cyclists." she said "The Armley Gyratory proposal will create significant benefits for local communities to access the city centre, with improved cycling and pedestrian facilities.

Coun Hayden meanwhile has thanked the public for its patience during the period.

“I know these works cause disruption and I would like to thank the people of Leeds for their continued patience." she said "We’re working as fast as we can to make these improvements, but please plan ahead and use public transport, walk or cycle if you are able as we continue to transform travel across your city.”

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