Cycle superhighway: Council chief admits communication issues

18 November 2015

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West Leeds businesses and residents have criticised authorities for not keeping them better informed over building work for the £29 million ‘cycle superhighway’.

Oliver Priestley, head of engineering projects at the council, spoke to a group of concerned residents and business owners at a meeting of Armley Forum last night. They raised issues

He acknowledged there had been communication issues on City Connect scheme, which runs from east Leeds through to the centre of Bradford.

He said:

“There is a feeling on your part that some information has not been given to you and perhaps you have not been getting the answers that you want. You have raised concerns about understanding what it is that we’re doing and where we’re doing it and how we can address those issues.”

Mr Priestley broke off from the main meeting to speak at length in private to concerned individuals who had raised concerns about a lack of information on progress of the work. There had also been concerns about an initial lack of consultation with business owners down Stanningley Road.

One business owner told The Dispatch:

“We don’t know how long the work will continue for – we feel we’ve been kept in the dark and it’s affecting our trade.”

Mr Priestley also fielded concerns about access for emergency services in the area at peak times due to the reduction oin width of the road, but stressed a road safety audit had been carried out and emergency services conbsulted.

But one resident labelled it ‘a matter of life or death’.

Stanningley Town Street work

Meanwhile, the planned closure for resurfacing between Vickersdale and Richardshaw Road on Town Street in Stanningley last Sunday, 15 November, was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

A statement on the City Connect website said:

“At this point in time we do not know when it will be rescheduled due to closure restrictions during the Christmas period. We will update you as soon as possible.”

Planned road closures for this Sunday and the following Sunday are expected to continue.

Cycle superhighway benefits

The cycle superhighway aims to encourage more people to take up cycling and make it a popular alternative for commuters. It also aims to tackle pollution by reducing the need for people to use cars.

It is hoped that one of the legacies of the Tour de France for Leeds will be the increased take-up of cycling as a commuter option.

The project is being delivered by West Yorkshire Combined Authority in partnership with Leeds City Council and Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Funding comes from central government.




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Stuart Sugden says:

How can they see the sense in wasting 29 million on ‘a hope that more people will take up cycling’ when cuts are being made all over the place. The cost will probably be higher when they take into account the lost revenue for businesses. And to build this on the back of the disruption from the improvements made to the Thornbury barracks, Rodley and Horsforth roundabouts really takes the mick out of commuters who rely on these roads to get about. I used to regularly cycle down Stanningley to get to work and at no time felt threatened by other road users. If you clamped down more on idiots parking in well painted and signed cycle lanes, there would be no need for this waste of money.