More traffic to hit Leeds due to Leeds Bradford Airport link road plans say campaigners
Concerns have been raised over the latest proposals for a £100 million link road to Leeds Bradford Airport.
Aireborough Civic Society has released a statement outlining its worries that a new road will make traffic congestion between Menston and Horsforth worse.
It has also expressed concern that the road will mean the area loses important green belt countryside.
The three options on the table for improved road access are: the construction of a new road running from the A65 to A658 along the eastern side of the airport; a new road running from the same point on the A65, but this time meeting the A658 to the south west of the airport; upgrades to existing junctions on the A65 and A658 as well as some localised road widening.
Junction and capacity improvements are also being proposed at Dawson’s Corner, Fink Hill and the Dyneley Arms. Development work on the plans is being carried out by the council with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and other partners, including Leeds Bradford Airport.
However, the local community organisation said that, as residents, they have first-hand experience of the traffic problems in the area and they do not believe the problems are related to airport traffic.
In a statement, the group said: "Leeds Council’s image of the proposed junction opposite Rawdon Cemetery does not show any traffic. Unfortunately, traffic often queues back nearly to Rawdon Crossroads between 4pm and 5.30pm due to gridlock on the Leeds Outer Ring Road between Horsforth and Rodley. Traffic from Hall Lane squeezing on to the A65 just before the roundabout already adds to the problem.
"A further addition of traffic from a Link Road must make it even worse. We have asked for predictions of the effects of such a road and were told that none had been done. This is despite ourselves and others making similar requests at the previous consultation 3 years ago.
"It is well known that new roads attract more traffic – a government study showed that the Bingley Bypass made more people drive - leading to a 27% increase in traffic at Saltaire and longer queues.
"Congestion maps and studies show that Aireborough has severe congestion problems between Menston and Rawdon on the A65, and between Rawdon and Greengates on the A658 at peak times and also at weekends. None of the options will help with this."
The group also noted that the peak times for arrival at LBA are before 7am and after 6pm - which they say is when the roads are quiet.
The society said that it does not believe that airport users have a big impact on the congestion and instead place the blame on the number of new homes that have been built in Aireborough and surrounding areas.
It also expressed concern over the proposals to spend money on road junctions between Carlton Crossroads and Rawdon Cemetery.
Instead, the community group have proposed that the council create two traffic lanes on the A65, with one being a dedicated bus lane and to lower the prices for the 757 bus service from LBA to Leeds train station.
They also suggest changing the signal times at Bayton Lane and Carlton Crossroads, as well as ring road improvements at the Rodley and Horsforth roundabouts and the trial of a shuttle bus service.
Aireborough Civic Society said: "Since the 2016 Consultation the proposals have not changed – they are just more detailed. None of the suggestions that we and other community groups made then have been included. It is extremely disappointing that money that should be spent on improving public transport could be spent on roads that will not benefit local communities."
Residents can give their view on the schemes here. The closing date is Friday, April 12.