Council u-turn over Rodley-Horsforth roundabout trial following chaos

6 June 2018

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Leeds City Council has performed a u-turn over a trial to improve traffic flow between Horsforth and Rodley roundabouts.

Motorists have suffered days of traffic chaos following a trial which saw the council alter the current lanes near the roundabout to a single lane uphill, allowing two lanes to be maintained for longer in the downhill direction.

Horsforth roundabout road changes

The roads currently have two lanes up, one lane down at Horsforth Roundabout. Photo: Google

The trial was supposed to sort problems on the A6120 Ring Road from Horsforth Roundabout, heading towards Rodley, which is still experiencing considerable traffic congestion at evening peak times despite multi-million pound improvement work carried out in 2015 on both roundabouts.

Council Highways officials have now admitted the trial was a mistake and have apologised. They said:

“On Monday … the first phase of the trial was installed and whilst some disruption was to be expected on the first day it was clear that by the end of the second day the impact this was having on Rodley roundabout was unacceptable and the decision was taken to abandon the trial. Whilst on paper, the proposals should have worked, the unpredictable nature of the uphill queue had a significant impact at Rodley.

“I am disappointed that the trial was abandoned but it has shown the sensitivity and pressure that this section of the ring road is under. I will be reflecting on the data collected and will use this to inform any future proposals in this area.

“I apologise for the disruption and any inconvenience caused but hope you can understand the reasons behind the trial and that the Council has acted quickly to resolve this.”

The changes had caused multiple problems in the area. Motorist Duane Ellis said:

“Since the lane closure morning traffic is atrocious. In the last couple of days there have been queues from as far back as the Owlcotes Centre, through Dawson’s Corner roundabout and down to Rodley as early as 7am.

“And this afternoon, 5th June, it took me 45 minutes to travel the 1.5 miles from the Dawsons Corner roundabout to Horsforth!”

Helen Rossini Limacher told The Dispatch:

“The first day of the road change caused major issues. I witnessed a first response ambulance having to do a u-turn near Rodley roundabout as the road was so busy he couldn’t get up to Horsforth, endangering lives, as well as causing disruption to all the surrounding area. [Traffic] goes all the way along the Ring Road near Wickes DIY in Bramley.”

A poll carried out by The Dispatch in April saw readers predict the problems:


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Bob says:

That is Council bull of the highest order.

The reason for the queues was because they chose to close a whole lane to give a safe working area for the contractors. To believe this wouldn’t cause chaos on at least 20 miles of roads in west leeds shows the engineers don’t have a clue how busy the road is.

The lane closure “experiment” would only affect a short stretch from Horsforth down to Rodley. They plan is to replcate the Rodley roundabout to Horsforth section where there is a longer stretch of merge lane. All the plans are online and it may have worked if they hadn’t chosen to close a whole lane during the day.

The planning of the works was a complete shambles. The works could have been done at night, or outside of rush hour. They were only installing a few temporary bollards and relining the lanes!

What is actually needed are 1-2 more river crossings between Apperley Bridge and Kirkstall. Just having two is now completely inadequate, but fiddling and wasting money must be seen as better value.

Stephen McBarron says:

The real issue is everyone in cars traveling to the same place at the same time. Why are all the offices and businesses in the city centre and more or less open nine to five and five days a week. Stagger the working day, reduce the working week, introduce homeworking and relocate businesses to the suburbs. Flexitime and working from home – that’s the answer.

Stuart says:

The council and individuals need to be held more accountable for such terrible decisions, lack of forethought, and shambolic project delivery.
It wouldn’t be tolerated in the private sector and shouldn’t tolerated in the public sector.
The people responsible should be finding themselves new jobs, but instead they’re left to come up with other ill thought through ideas time and time again!

k Hodgson says:

All that is required is to dual carriageway this section of the ring road especial where there is a wide grass verge.

Disgruntled in Kirkstall says:

One of the biggest problems is that there are only 2 crossing points over the river and the councillors and powers that be in Kirkstall signed off on absolutely ludicrous plans for the new shopping centre, causing gridlock chaos every single day, virtually all day. To block one of the crossing points to such an extent can only impact negatively on Horsforth roundabout, as people seek alternative routes to avoid the insanity of the traffic lights and snarl up at Kirkstall bridge. It took me 45 minutes to travel from Kirkstall Brewery to Kirkstall Leisure Centre recently, the whole area is ground to a standstill for yet another ‘retail park’. Madness.