By Connor Briggs
Bramley residents have given a mixed response to £50,000 plans to improve the forecourt at the shopping parade on Upper Town Street.
Some residents suggest the investment is in the wrong area, with a local business owner suggesting traffic is the larger problem businesses and shoppers face.
As revealed last week, the forecourt plans drawn up include new surfacing, cast-iron street furniture, bollards, and a tree pit with a planted tree. The investment is part of Leeds City Council’s £2.3 million local centres program.
Paul Matthews, 29, welcomed the proposals. He said: “Hopefully the bollards will stop people thinking these shops are ‘drive-ins or drive throughs’? There are far too many cars and vans parked illegally on the pavement. The plans should lift the area.”
Resident Neil Bent, 52, gave his reaction to the plans: “The paths need re-surfacing. When it rains heavily you can’t get past. You have to go round it or cross over and that’s not a straightforward thing when you have a pram.”
Mr Bent called for further work in Bramley: “More speed bumps or traffic cameras are needed to slow traffic down; cars go past that fast you can’t even see them.”
Bell Lane, connected to Upper Town Street, and the private pathway opposite, was raised as a more important issue. Paul Whetstone, 75, said: “That pathway affects people, it needs to be levelled off, so it doesn’t flood every time it rains. It’s part of it, and it’s been that way 13 years to the best of my knowledge.”
Kim Spooner, 63, has different ideas for investment: “Well it’s OK as it is, it’s got everything you want really. I’d like to see the (Bramley) Shopping Centre done up again, it’s awful. I don’t go to the shopping centre, I don’t like it.”
Shirley Mather, 61, said: “I don’t think it’ll make any difference; Bramley needs stuff doing all over, not just here.”
Matthew Milnes, 42 reacted: “I like the shops to be fair, there’s nothing wrong with it, just needs a revamp like most of Bramley.”
One business owner on the parade, who wishes to remain anonymous, questioned the effectiveness of the investment. He said: “It’s great to put a bench outside, but £50,000 could be spent in better ways. There’s enough trees in the park. Why don’t they make a lay-by because of the number of customers that already come to the shops? A lay-by would make a better flow of traffic.”
The council is aiming to carry out the improvements this year.