M621 Leeds: All the changes as major slip road near Elland Road to permanently close

A major slip road near Leeds United’s Elland Road is set to permanently close next month as further motorway improvements move forward.
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National Highways will permanently close the M621 junction 2a westbound exit slip road towards the end of June, allowing the creation of the signalised junction and crossing between Cemetery Road and Elland Road, with the entry slip road joining the M621 at Junction 2a to remain open.

This is the next stage of the major programme of work between junctions 1 and 7 of the M621 Leeds. It will enable traffic to flow much more smoothly and safely, especially during peak times. Here’s everything you need to know.

Why is the closure taking place?

National Highways will permanently close the M621 junction 2a westbound exit slip road towards the end of June. Picture: National HighwaysNational Highways will permanently close the M621 junction 2a westbound exit slip road towards the end of June. Picture: National Highways
National Highways will permanently close the M621 junction 2a westbound exit slip road towards the end of June. Picture: National Highways
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The closure will be the latest stage of the National Highways congestion-easing scheme to create safer and more reliable journeys on the M621 at Leeds. Aiming to create a better traffic flow upon completion, the phase has been planned to use the break in the football season to mitigate the impact on school and match day traffic.

In December, National Highways began adding and widening lanes at the busy junction 2 near Elland Road. These improvements will provide extra room at the junction to help keep traffic moving and reduce queues, so drivers can get to their destination sooner.

When are the changes coming into force?

Preparation works in the area will begin from today (May 31), with temporary traffic lights at the junction of Elland Road and Cemetery Road.

Following the permanent closure of the Junction 2a exit slip road towards the end of June, there will be a full temporary closure of Elland Road south from Baron Close for around eight weeks while the main upgrade works for the signalised junction are carried out.

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Junction 2a was initially not planned to close until autumn this year, after the improvements to junction 2 were complete. However, due to the programme moving ahead of schedule, and restrictions needing to take place within the break in the football season, the work has been accelerated. Upgrades to increase capacity on the Junction 2 westbound exit slip will be complete before the closure of J2a.

What journey delays can I expect?

Work will be carried out during the night, and weekends. National Highways is working with delivery partner Keltbray and Leeds City Council to keep disruption to a minimum. During full closures, traffic will be diverted along routes that have been agreed with the local authority.

What has National Highways said?

National Highways project manager Sal Hopkinson said: “The closure of the exit slip road follows extensive public consultations around the M621. People raised concerns around the amount of commuter traffic using junction 2a and surrounding local roads as a shortcut into the city.

"We took the concerns on board and developed this scheme to include additional improvements to Elland Road and Cemetery Road, creating a more resident-focussed community within this area.”

How can I get more information?

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Anyone with questions or concerns about any aspects of the scheme are encouraged to get in touch with National Highways via email [email protected] or by contacting their Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

A further opportunity to ask questions about planned changes will be offered at the M621 Stakeholder Group virtual meeting on Friday, June 9 at 11am.