East Parade: New 24-hour 'bus gate' traffic restrictions are set to go live with cameras set up in Leeds city centre

The major changes will affect East Parade at the junction with South Parade and will come into effect from 5am on Monday (June 19).
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From that point, only buses, emergency vehicles, bikes and hackney carriages will be able to use the new East Parade bus gate. Construction on the project will start today (June 16) and last until Sunday.

Motorists have been warned that when the new bus gate comes into effect, anyone travelling from the Headrow or passing through the bus gate heading north from South Parade will be in breach of traffic restrictions. Enforcement cameras will be activated over the coming weeks.

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At the same time, Calverley Street will also see changes from one-way northbound to two-way, for access purposes. It will not be possible for motorists to access The Headrow when travelling southbound on Calverley Street. The roads becoming two-way is a major change and pedestrians have been told to take care when approaching and crossing.

East Parade at the junction with South Parade. Photo: Leeds City Council.East Parade at the junction with South Parade. Photo: Leeds City Council.
East Parade at the junction with South Parade. Photo: Leeds City Council.

The changes come as part of Leeds City Council’s plans to make City Square ‘people-first’ by removing general through-traffic away from the city centre. This work is part of the final phase to complete City Square highways changes by the end of August.

From 7pm today (June 16) along East Parade, South Parade, Bedford Street, and Infirmary Street, there will be a series of night-time lane and road closures.

In the final 24-hours before the switchover, there will be further closures between 7pm and 5am, with bus and signed vehicle diversions in place. Pedestrian access will be maintained for businesses, residents, and emergency services.

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Starting on Tuesday (June 20), Yorkshire Water will be carrying out deep sewer replacement works on Great George Street for five weeks. All city centre works have been co-ordinated to minimise delays and the company has delayed their works until the bus gate is finished. This will mean lane closures and traffic management, with motorists urged to plan ahead and to allow more time for their journeys.

City Square works started in September 2022, with the initial closure of the thoroughfare to through traffic. Works have continued around the area including the closing of Quebec Street to City Square for motorists. In January, King Street and Thirsk Row became two-way. Current works are taking place at the junction of Aire Street and Wellington Street, as well as to the south of City Square in front of the Queens Hotel pick up and drop off area. More details about the phased changes can be found on the project website.

Coun Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, said: “The works on City Square represent a major change for the highway network in the city centre, and we continue to work hard to manage this as effectively as possible, minimising disruption and ensuring the safety of those working on site and members of the public.

“At the same time we would like to thank those who have begun using different routes or changed the way they travel into the city centre.

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“The work now enters the final phase, which supports our ambition to create infrastructure and spaces which favour healthier and more sustainable methods of travel, diverting some general traffic away from the city centre.

“The bus gate at East Parade helps to divert traffic away from areas such as Whitehall Road and The Headrow, creating safer and more attractive places to walk and cycle.

“It is important that motorists plan their journey in advance and consider either alternative routes or methods of travel. If you do travel along this route by car you must adhere to the restrictions.

“If you feel you really must drive into the city centre, please plan your journey in advance, try to avoid the area, allow extra time, and consider travelling outside of peak hours.”

Alternative driving routes can be found on the council’s Plan Ahead page.