Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeNewsCalls for public consultation over new £2.9m Armley Town Street regeneration scheme

Calls for public consultation over new £2.9m Armley Town Street regeneration scheme

By John Baron

Residents have called for more say over a £2.9 million scheme aimed at breathing new life into Armley Town Street.

Attendees at last night’s Armley Forum meeting said shoppers and traders should have a say on an emerging highways scheme which WLD understands would include the partial pedestrianisation of Town Street and the installation of a bus gate.

No specific details of the scheme were revealed at last night’s Forum, which saw Leeds City Council regeneration department’s Jason Green talk about the ambitious scheme, which he hopes will ‘transform’ the area.

But one angry trader interrupted him and warned against pedestrianising the road. She said: “You need to keep Armley Town Street free as traders need the passing traffic.

“Last time this [a regeneration project] was planned it was ‘cloak and dagger’ and no-one knew much about these bids. Businesses need to know what is going on.”

Mr Green said a programme of consultation would be started ‘before September’. He added: “We have got to get people to buy in to it, otherwise it isn’t going to work.”

But local resident and former Armley councillor Lou Cunningham warned any public consultation would not be genuine if the scheme has already been drawn up and decided by council officers.

Meeting chair Councillor Jim McKenna (Labour) said it was important officers talk to local people and that consultation was ‘overdue’.

One local resident challenged Cllr McKenna to go onto Armley Town Street to buy one tin of Batchelor’s garden peas as ‘you cannot do it’ and called for more variety of shops. Cllr McKenna said it was difficult for the council to influence private businesses.

Mr Green said that Leeds City Council had prepared two previous schemes in 2019 and last year’s levelling up bid to regenerate Town Street, but these had been turned down by Government, which was ‘frustrating’.

Mr Green said he hoped the highways changes to Armley Town Street would kickstart the wider regeneration of the area but added: “I would like to see a greater diversity of what is offered on Armley Town Street but it’s more difficult as we have to talk to private owners who we have no influence over.”

He agreed to provide a timetable of developments with the scheme and that there would be consultation before the next forum meeting in September. There was also the possibility of having an information stall at the Armley Festival on Armley Moor on September 9.

Funding for the £2.9m scheme has already been secured by Leeds City Council as part of the Active Travel Fund distributed by Active Travel England, the government’s executive agency responsible for making walking, wheeling and cycling the preferred choice of travel.

The Town Street scheme is part of a wider £23.12 million package received by West Yorkshire Combined Authority in May to improve the cycling and walking network throughout the region.

There were also calls for direct access to be re-established to Canal Road from Branch Road following recent changes to the road layout at Stanningley Road.

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  1. Killed Morley centre Pedestrianising it. As said re this plan. It stops passing trade. Long established businesses closed, crime increased.

  2. Pedestrianising Town Street would be great. Paved areas could be opened for cafes to have outdoor seating. It would reduce traffic through local streets and make shopping easier. It could even host a monthly market.

    • Went to Morley earlier. Queuing traffic from Bruntcliffe Road and all along Corporation Street. Why? The council pedestrianised Morley Bottoms closing it to traffic. When Morley centre pedestrianised in the past. It killed established businesses that had been there many years. Crime increased.

    • Could you please explain why you think it would reduce traffic through local streets,where else would the traffic go there would only be theaker lane available to travel down?surely that would cause congestion,reopening canal road for traffic from town street would be a better,cleaner,safer option,how would you redirect the busses that travel up and down town street,how would people from the leisure centre get to stanningley road,from behind the royal only option causing more problems on theaker lane or unnecessarily adding to journeys,your idea sounds like something the city planners who have caused problems already would come up with.

  3. When was this town street pedestrianising scheme publicised? I haven’t seen anything on Dispatches before now. Is it a complete closing to through traffic, bus gate, etc. We need details to be able to have a say. Please.

  4. Stupid ideas from idiots that think they can dictate scheme’s without consulting locals.
    Leeds city centre now pedestrianized only students allowed there
    Businesses allowed to takeover payments while buildings built.
    We paid for the roads in this city but do not get to use them now only for private run bus companies and clowns on bikes who don’t need to pass any test ,don’t need insurance, and no visible identification if needed
    Don’t consider they have to follow road rules.
    The the council spend more for them than repairs to the run down roads we now have.


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