New-look Leeds to Bradford A647 as upgrades finally finish after nearly 2 years to cut journey by ‘7 or 8 minutes’

Work to upgrade a popular commuter route between west Leeds and Bradford has finished after nearly two years.

By Joseph Keith
Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 12:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 12:59 pm

The A647 Stanningley Road has undergone a range of improvements as part of the project run by Leeds City Council, in a bid to “ease congestion in peak times” on the route.

It includes new peak time bus, cycling and taxi lanes along Bradford Road.

The former High Occupancy Vehicle Lane (2+) on Stanningley Road has now also been permanently converted into a bus, cycling and taxi lane.

Improvements have now been completed on the A647 at Stanningley Road in Leeds.

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And on the approach to Armley’s Ledgard Way junction, known locally as Mikes Carpets, a new outbound bus lane and widened carriageway have been created.

The council said the key objective of the project was to reduce bus journey times between Leeds and Bradford by “7-8 minutes on average during peak periods”.

The work, which first started in October 2020, was carried out by BAM Nuttall on behalf of the council.

Andy Crampton, BAM Nuttall Project Director, said: “BAM are once again delighted to play our part in successfully delivering another vital piece of highways infrastructure for Leeds City Council.

"Our design and construction team has worked collaboratively, to help the council deliver on their wider transport aspirations for this great city.”

The council said improvements to the Armley junction had been “a major intervention to allow more vehicles to pass through”, with “safer facilities for pedestrians and cyclists”.

Several vehicles turning movements have been banned as part of the upgrades.

Smart technology has been included in the traffic signal operation, capable of adjusting to traffic flows to ensure an “optimum operation” is achieved as part of the upgrade project, the council added.

Cycle lanes now link to the existing ‘cycle superhighway’ over the junctions to make routes more accessible for riders, while safer pedestrian crossings have been created.

First Bus investment

Meanwhile, First West Yorkshire has invested £8.1m into a fleet of 28 new double-deck buses that will operate along the dedicated corridor on services X6 and 72.

The buses are "ultra-low emission”, the council said, “with the best-forming diesel engines available and technology that reduces harmful pollutants”.

Coun Helen Hayden, executive member for infrastructure and climate, said: “I’d like to thank everybody for their patience during the construction along this corridor. Having had a tour of the improvements on one of First buses ultra-low emission buses, I am hopeful that residents who live on the corridor might choose the enhanced reliable bus service for their commute or travel into the city centre.

“A major investment of more than £180 million in bus services in Leeds to improve air quality was part of our ambition for corridor improvements on key routes into the city. By providing designated bus lanes, bus users will have the benefit of reduced journey times.

“All of the changes Connecting Leeds are making is a bid to make sustainable travel more appealing by improving public transport, walking and cycling connections and in turn contributing towards tackling the climate emergency.”