Could this road near Kirkstall Abbey be pedestrianised?

vesper lane kirkstall
Vesper Lane, near Kirkstall Abbey. Photo: Google

Kirkstall’s councillors are canvassing initial public opinion on whether Vesper Lane should be blocked to traffic and be pedestrianised.

A letter has been sent to nearby householders has asked for views on the road being closed to traffic and becoming a pedestrianised part of the Abbey Park. The letter, from Cllr Fiona Venner (Lab) on behalf of all three Kirkstall councillors, says:

“The proposal is to support active travel, cycling, walking and a child-friendly environment. cars would still be able to access the Abbey car park from Vesper lane, but it would be closed to cars from this point, enabling people to safely walk, scoot and cycle on the road as part of the amenity space of the park.

“This would enable safer access for children, in particular, to the sports fields and playground.”

Cllr Venner said that at this early stage she was canvassing local opinion on the idea and that, if there was support from residents, a formal consultation would then be launched by the council’s highways department.

Her letter states collapsible bollards would be used to close the road. These would be lowered when events were held at the Abbey to allow parking to take place and help alleviate concerns about displaced parking on nearby residential streets.

Idea: Cllr Fiona Venner

Cllr Venner added:

“As stated above, this letter is only the initial stage of public consultation to see if there is enough public support to move to a more formal consultation. I will write back to you with a summary of the responses I get to this letter.”

The Friends of Kirkstall Abbey Park group supports the move. Posting on Facebook, the group says:

“It will create a quieter and safer environment for all. It will also create a dry path when the field waterlogs in winter and be especially beneficial for families with young children and those walking dogs.”

Cllr Venner can be contacted via e-mail on

Meanwhile, the Friends of Kirkstall Abbey Park group has permission for some initial tree planting and the creation of a small community orchard. If you would like to be involved in planning and planting, e-mail to friendsofkap@gmail and put “orchard” in the subject field.


  1. It would be fabulous for visitors and local people if the whole area around the Abbey could be pedestrianised. It will never happen as traffic will grind to a halt.

    My main concern would be that the now awful rat runs we have to endure every day in our local streets would become worse and this traffic will just spill into our streets.

    One street blocked off naturally means that traffic will have to find another way through and to save people queuing on Abbey road and Morris lane they will just use our nearby residential streets as a cut through and to park on.

    Unfortunately the problem in kirkstall now is that we have just become a hugely congested area due to through traffic, too many shopping centres and increasing population in a very small area. Pollution levels must be through the roof.

  2. This road should be for access only with a camera on the area where the kids playground is located.
    Stop the dogging etc
    Bridge over the A65 into the Abbey from the museum

  3. This would be a disaster, parking on event days has always been an issue but where will they park then next to museum or on vespers? I am a vesper gate resident and not been consulted yet again people who dont live here making decisions that will affect residents. I come home this way every day and would have to turn right at the main road in rush hour. Double yellow line the bloody road or make another car park

  4. Regarding making the area around the abbey pedestrianisti I feel that the whole area should be have yellow lines on both sides make it a one way system access only from Abbey Walk no entry from Vesper Lane .residents permit parking only
    Move playground to old bowling area make carpark bigger


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