27 trees look set to be felled at Low Moor in Armley to accommodate the A647 Bus Priority Corridor scheme, writes Keely Bannister
This means that open space just off of Armley Road known as Low Moor will need to be used to facilitate this. 27 trees will have to be felled as part of the road widening with a further four trees being at risk.
The possibility of transplanting the trees to another site was looked at but the gradient of the land makes that impossible with a report announcing the decision.
The report says that new trees will be planted to compensate for the loss:
“In order to compensate for the loss of trees and green space, landscape plans have been developed for Low Moor which will introduce 78 new trees, 45 of which will be Semi-mature, and the remainder will be Extra Heavy. In addition to landscaping proposed adjacent to Armley Road, tree planting will be undertaken on other sites within Leeds, in order to increase the overall benefit of the scheme in terms of numbers of trees, and to ensure that at least 3 trees are planted for every 1 removed.”
Efforts to minimise the impacts on greenspace and loss of trees have been taken by officers in the designs for the scheme including the reduction in the widths of general traffic lanes and the bus lane and selecting a retaining wall structure with a minimum depth whilst still keeping the designs safe.
Overall benefits of the scheme will be to see bus journeys reduced by an estimated 10 minutes inbound in the morning peak, and nine minutes outbound in the afternoon peak, as well as improving bus reliability.
There will also be improved cycling and pedestrian facilities as well as landscaping improvements.
The report sums up how the scheme will help the climate emergency which has been declared in the city:
“Whilst the scheme has attempted to minimise its impact on the local trees, some removal will have to take place. However, this will be compensated by a scheme of planting additional trees. In addition, by improving bus journey times and reliability, the scheme is expected to encourage modal shift from car to bus, resulting in a reduction in carbon emissions.”
Notice will be given by the council of the loss of greenspace with people able to make objections.
You can view all documents associated with the decision here.