Concerns over rat running along a number of residential streets due to the new layout of the A647 Stanningley Road have been raised by Armley residents.
Members of Armley Forum last night raised concerns over increased traffic through Armley Town Street, Aviary Road and drivers cutting through the Tesco Express car park due to a change in priorities at the Ledgard Way Junction as part of a £19.6m project to improve bus times between Leeds and Bradford.
One resident said: “There is now double the amount of traffic down Aviary Road which has really affected our quality of life. People are furious that they cannot use the road the way they want to.”
On drivers cutting through he Wilkinson’s/Tesco Express car park, another resident added: “It’s an accident waiting to happen.”
Armley Forum chair Cllr Jim McKenna (Lab, Armley) said that Armley’s councillors had raised concerns over rat-running along Armley Town Street and other roads ‘at an early stage’ of the project.
But he told the meeting: “Bus companies so far have told me that there has been an eight-minute reduction in travelling times from the start of the scheme and into the city centre. I’m told far more journeys are arriving on time and there may also be changes to the timetables thanks to improved travel times.”
Concerns were also raised over speeding vehicles and bad parking obscuring junctions on Armley Ridge Road.
Leeds City Council’s principal traffic engineer Paul Way attended the meeting and agreed to look into some of the comments about both Armley Ridge Road and the A647 and report back.
The concerns came as Leeds City Council today announced A647 Stanningley Road bus infrastructure improvements to ease congestion in peak times along the Leeds to Bradford route is complete. Construction works started almost two years ago in October 2020.
The measures include new peak time bus/cycle/taxi lanes along Bradford Road, the conversion of the previous high occupancy vehicle lane (2+) to a bus/cycle/taxi lane on Stanningley Road and a new outbound bus/cycle/taxi lane within a widened carriageway on the approach to the Ledgard way junction.
Improvements at the Ledgard way junction, also known as Mike’s Carpets, have seen major work to allow more vehicles to pass through the junction and with safer facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. Several vehicles turning movements have been banned to offer more opportunity of green time for the A647 traffic movements, thus making the junction more efficient.
In addition, smart technology has been included in the traffic signal operation which not only links the signals from the nearby junctions but is also capable of adjusting to traffic flows to ensure an optimum operation is achieved.
Cycle infrastructure in the area has been improved by adding links to the existing cycle superhighway over junctions to make cycle routes safer and more accessible. Pedestrians have additional walking routes and safer crossings along the route.
First West Yorkshire has also invested £8.1m in 28 new double-deck buses that will operate along the dedicated corridor on services X6 and 72. The buses are ultra-low emission with the best-forming diesel engines available and technology that reduces harmful pollutants such as nitrogen oxide (NOx) by up to 95 per cent. Carbon emissions are also reduced through the introduction of a lighter weight bus framework.
Councillor Helen Hayden, executive member for infrastructure and climate, said: “I’d like to thank everybody for their patience during the construction along this corridor. Having had a tour of the improvements on one of First buses ultra-low emission buses, I am hopeful that residents who live on the corridor might choose the enhanced reliable bus service for their commute or travel into the city centre.”
Simon Carlisle, Engineering Director of First West Yorkshire, said: “This is a heavily-used route for customers travelling with us from communities to the west of the city into the heart of Leeds. They will now begin to enjoy quicker and more reliable journey times, thanks to the bus priority measures that have been introduced. We hope these will encourage more people to consider using the bus and leaving their car at home, which can help to reduce congestion for all road users and create better air quality. “
The council press release on the work ending can be read in full here.