A £30,000 project to install more street benches in the Kirkstall and Burley areas has been given final approval by Leeds City Council.
A total of 16 steel benches will be installed at locations agreed with Kirkstall Labour councillors Hannah Bithell, John Illingworth and Fiona Venner in a bid to encourage walking throughout the Kirkstall Ward and support those who may need a place to stop and rest.
The project, is part of the council’s Local Centres Programme, which aims to support town centres.
A council report approving the final details of the scheme said: “It has been identified by ward members and agreed by officers that there is an absence of street bench provision within the ward, which acts as a barrier to those residents who may wish to walk to certain destinations but would require somewhere to sit and rest on their journey. The project seeks to introduce benches at key points that would support those who choose to walk.”
The benches will be based at:
- At the junction of Latchmere Drive with Filingfir Drive.
- At the junction of Butcher Hill with Moor Grange View, outside commercial premises.
- Queenswood Drive, opposite the northern junction with Woodbridge Crescent.
- Queenswood Drive, by the entrance to Batcliffe Wood.
- Kirkstall Lane, by the junction with Station Approach.
- At the junction of Kirkstall Hill with Beecroft Street.
- At the junction of Kirkstall Hill with Eden Drive, outside commercial premises.
- At the junction of Kirkstall Hill with Burley Hill Drive.
- At the junction of Burley Hill Drive with Kirkstall Road.
- At the junction of Kirkstall Road with Evanston Avenue, opposite commercial premises.
- Kirkstall Road, by the footpath access to Kirkstall Abbey opposite Back De Lacy Mount.
- Vesper Lane, by the Vesper Gate remnants.
- Vesper Road, by the public footpath to Vesper Recreation Ground.
- At the junction of Lea Farm Road with Hawkswood Avenue; and
- At the junction of Broadway with Hawkswood Avenue.
The Local Centres Programme was launched several years ago, with £150,000 allocated for each ward to spend. Last year, council budget cuts meant that the amount was reduced to £30,000 per ward, with only four schemes completed at the full cost, including one in Rodley which included on‐street parking improvements, pedestrian crossing points and bus stops on Rodley Town Street.
WLD is tracking council cuts and building sell-offs through its Cutswatch Series here.
A well-intentioned idea, but benches tend to be anti-social behaviour honeypots. Look at the benches in Burley Bottom Park for example, they are a gathering point for the gang of youths who are regularly blitzing around the area dealing drugs on electric bikes and motos.