Senior councillors in Leeds will next week give the green light to transforming bus priority measures along the A647 corridor between Leeds and Bradford.
A report, to be discussed by the council’s executive board on Wednesday 13 February, outlines progress plans for highlights a series of intervention works costing £9.78million along the A647 corridor.
These measures, part of the £270 million Connecting Leeds project to improve transport, are expected to reduce journey times by 10 to 15 minutes.
The measures will help reduce congestion through a dedicated bus lane and improvements at key junctions. If approved, it is hoped these new measures will encourage more people to travel by bus further reducing congestion.
Measures include significant improvements to the Ledgard Way junction. The corridor also includes the B6157 Stanningley Road/Bradford Road through Stanningley, as the principal route served by buses and connects the communities of Armley, Bramley, Stanningley, Farsley and Pudsey with Leeds City Centre.
Almost 70,000 people in these areas live within walking distance of a bus stop and every day 24,000 bus trips are made along the Leeds – Bradford route. These improvements will contribute to the target of doubling bus patronage over 10 years, which could see 5,000 cars taken off the roads, as well as improving air quality.
The works include;
- Converting the Stanningley Road two-plus lane into a dedicated bus only lane;
- Additional new bus lanes and junction improvements at places like Dawsons Corner to improve capacity;
- Improving pedestrian and cycling crossing facilities;
- Improving air quality, safety and the local environment for residents;
- Improving public transport and walking integrated to complement the City Connect cycle lanes.
- If approved to proceed, the designs of the road improvement schemes will be developed with our construction partner, with the work on site expected to start by the end of this year.
A report to be considered by councillors, says there have been problems with enforcing the two-plus lane, with one in three cars using the lane unlawfully at peak times. It says:
“Over the years, enforcement by the police has been sporadic and unlawful use of the HOV lane now stands at 33% of total flows in the morning peak hour.
“This delays all traffic as traffic using the outside lane is forced to give way to traffic merging at the end of the HOV lane. This significantly worsens queues that build up from junctions to the east (where other improvements are proposed).
“Buses suffer from delays of up to eight minutes along this section alone due to the operation of the HOV lane and on occasions delays are around 15 minutes. This is the worst delay point on the corridor and one of the worst on the whole Leeds bus network.”
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“We have carried out extensive consultation to shape what we are doing now. These works along the A647 will be of great benefit not only to bus users, but to all road users. The ambition is to see these reductions to journey times throughout the year, similar to those we currently see off-peak.
“Road improvements, along with new real-time bus information, are key in encouraging more people to use bus services. It will also provide operators with the opportunity to increase the reliability and predictability of their service, improving the everyday commute.
“By seeing more cars left at home, and an increased uptake in using the bus, we could see the traffic reduction year round that we currently only experience throughout the school holidays.”
Improvements to the Dawson’s Corner junction at Pudsey are being progressed through a separate scheme being developed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
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