Olympian Alistair Brownlee gives his verdict on the new East Leeds Orbital Route cycling facilities

Double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee has given his verdict on the new cycling facilities on the recently renovated East Leeds Orbital Route (ELOR).

The Dewsbury born Olympian joined pupils and staff of Highfield Primary School ahead of the routes official opening.

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ELOR is a two-lane dual carriageway 7km in length, connecting the A6120 (Outer Ring Road Shadwell) in the north to Manston Lane in the south where it connects to the Manston Lane Link Road (MLLR) which is delivered as part of the Thorpe Park development.

The Dewsbury born Olympian joined pupils and staff of Highfield Primary School ahead of the routes official opening. Picture: Leeds city council.

The route, which has been described as Leeds council’s "biggest" infrastructure project for 50 years, will include 14km of dedicated cycleways, pedestrian, and equestrian pathways, as well as specially designed access points to improve connectivity to surrounding areas.

“I am really impressed with the connectivity this new active travel route provides and how it will bring new and future communities in the east of Leeds together,” Alistair Brownlee said.

“The scheme provides opportunities for families and friends to cycle together away from traffic. The pocket parks situated along the cycle paths will function as great rest spots for families and give them the opportunity to learn about nature whilst living in a city."

Along the southern and western edge of the ELOR a 2.5m wide cycleway and 2m footway has been provided along the length of the 7km carriageway.

A leisure route is to be provided for walking, cycling and horse-riding along the majority of the ELOR north and eastern boundaries. The route will be separated from the busy carriageway by mixed shrub and woodland planting.

The scheme also sees significant investment in green-blue infrastructure which incorporates planting of trees and other plants as well as sustainable water management solutions along the route which will improve drainage, provide environmental benefits, and add to the look and feel of the route including new wildlife corridors and habitats.

“As active travel ambassador for Leeds I think the more cycle infrastructure we provide in Leeds, we will encourage more people to implement an active travel lifestyle into their lives.” Brownlee added.

The carriageway is still in construction but is planned to be fully opened by September 2022.