Multi-million pound scheme to transform the Headrow and Cookridge Street in Leeds almost complete

A multi-million pound scheme which is transforming one of the city's busiest streets is almost complete after 18 months under construction.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 4:45 pm

The Headrow will look very different, with wider pavements, cycle ways and new trees.

It is hoped that reducing the number of cars in the city centre will help buses to be more reliable, and encourage more people on to public transport as it becomes a more efficient way of getting in and out of the city, as well as helping to hit the city's climate targets.

The scheme, part of the Connecting Leeds programme, also takes in other areas such as Cookridge Street, which has now become a public space, Calverley Street and Dortmund Square.

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Cookridge Street in 2012, left, and now, right.

Similar work around the Corn Exchange is expected to be completed by 2022, and Call Lane is also being pedestrianised.

Resurfacing work on The Headrow begins this month - one of the final tasks ahead of completion in mid-May.

Much of the work in other key areas is expected to be complete just in time to allow businesses to reopen and create outside dining on April 12.

Leeds City Council's chief officer for highways and transportation, Gary Bartlett said: "After almost two years, it’s really pleasing to see the works coming to an end and the improved environments for all visitors to the city centre.

Work is ongoing to pedestrianise Call Lane.

“The scale of these works has been huge, with new paving and kerb lines, widened pavements, new trees, cycling lanes and bus shelters – along with safer road crossings.

"There has been some excellent work in recent weeks in terms of accelerating works to allow businesses to safely re-open on 12 April.

"There is still much work to do to transform the space around the Corn Exchange and improving bus routes and public realm in the area, so our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this but we’re making good progress.”

On the Headrow, there will be a series of full weekend closures at various sections of the road.

The dates of these are:

Friday, April 23, 8pm – Monday, April 26, 5.30am: Headrow - Vicar Lane junction to Park Row junction

Friday, April 30, 8pm – Monday, May 3, 5.30am: Headrow – Park Row junction to Westgate

Friday, May 7, 8pm – Monday, May 10, 5.30am: Vicar Lane and New York Road junction

LeedsBID’s Chief Executive, Andrew Cooper said: “Investment in the public realm is paramount in making Leeds city centre an attractive place for investors, residents, visitors and businesses. The Headrow scheme has continued during lockdown and it’s pleasing to see new trees, new wider pavements and a landscape that encourages you to dwell and not just be a thoroughfare.

Dave Hill, regional director at John Sisk & Son, the council's contractor, said: “Our teams have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and it’s thanks to their dedication and ‘can-do’ attitude that the paving work will be complete on schedule.

"We’re very proud of the end result and people returning to the city will feel the benefits for years to come”

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