Leeds nostalgia: July 1977: YEP declares ‘Victory!’ over M1-A1 link road plan

Jerry Pearlman..........Leeds Solicitor.  pictured in 1990
Jerry Pearlman..........Leeds Solicitor. pictured in 1990
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‘Victory!’ claimed the YEP on July 19, 1977, with the sub-heading: ‘M-Way Plan is Smashed’.

The report detailed the rejection of a controversial plan to build a motorway from Pudsey to Dishforth, however, the plans were dropped following a massive outcry.

Instead, a new road, described as ‘not a motorway’ would be built which would circle around the edge of East Leeds and link the A1 to the M62, passing through Oulton, Woodlesford, Wetherby and Boroughbridge.

At least, that was the plan.

Jerry Pearlman, chair of the Pudsey-Dishforth Motorway Action Group (PUDMAG), dubbed the decision “the greatest environmental victory Britain has ever seen.” But it seems that while one group of people were satisfied, another group were not. The Mayor of Wetherby, Coun Derek Nicholson, deplored the new plan.

Transport Minister William Rodgers was the man responsible for the decision. He said he had four routes to choose from and had listened to all the arguments carefully.

However, despite trumpeting the success, the following day, the YEP ‘declared war’ on the new plan. In the end, it would be many years before the actually A1-M1 link road.