A senior councillor has again raised concerns about planned new bus priority corridor improvements in West Leeds.
Councillor Andrew Carter (Conservative, Calverley & Farsley Ward) said the proposed improvements along the A647 could cause disruption for the local area and may actually worsen problems for travellers and local people.
The proposals along the corridor include bus lanes in both directions along Bradford Road between Dawson’s Corner and Thornbury Roundabout, new pedestrian crossings and cycle lanes, junction improvements and bus gates.
Leeds City Council is holding a public drop-in event about the proposals in Armley on 29th January, with the scheme set to get under way in February.
Cllr Carter, who expressed his initial concerns back in October, said today:
“I remain concerned about several aspects of this scheme, particularly about the impact on businesses and also the potential for local parking and traffic problems to be made worse. With new restrictions on the main road, cars are likely to try to use residential streets which don’t have the capacity to take extra traffic, creating added congestion and pollution.
“We all want to see investment in our transport infrastructure and initiatives that can cut journey times for local people, but schemes need to be properly designed and take account of any negative consequences.
“The Highways department have not, in my view, taken proper consideration of how to deal with residential on street parking, which will certainly be made worse by these proposals. Residents’ only permits must be introduced.
“The Council is also still missing a big piece in its transport strategy – a mass transit solution that can really tackle some of the significant long standing problems that Leeds suffers from. Without that, bus schemes, however well-meaning, are limited in how much real benefit they can bring.
“I would urge all local people to attend the forthcoming drop-in event planned on 29 January.”
As reported by WLD earlier this week, there is a drop-in event between 3pm-8pm on 29 January at Wesley Road Chapel, Wesley Road, Armley for local people to find out more about the project and how construction work will affect them.
Works – which are scheduled to last until Spring 2021 – include:
- New bus lanes, parking restrictions and new crossings to the section of the A647 between Bradford Border to Dawsons Corner;
- Traffic signal upgrades with buses given priority at junctions between Dawsons Corner and Bramley Town End Roundabout;
- The conversion of Stanningley Road’s High Occupancy Vehicle Lane (two-plus lane) into a bus lane, apart from a section between Cockshott Lane and Armley Ridge Road during peak periods to maintain existing on-street parking provision for residents, as well as the extension of the bus lane linking up Bramley Town End roundabout;
- Cockshott Lane and Armley Ridge Road junction changes along Stanningley Road and the creation of a new crossing at Redcote Lane;
- Changes at the Ledgard Way/Armley Road (Mike Carpets) junction with a reduction in the movements allowed between 11am and 7pm, with changes to Pickering Street to help accommodate more traffic movements as a result; and
- A reduction of Branch Road to a single lane allowing widening of the footway and tree planting.
Cllr Lisa Mulherin (Lab), Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development, hit back at Cllr Carter’s criticism back in October. She said:
“We all share the desire to see a mass transit system in Leeds or beyond. While we work with West Yorkshire Combined Authority on new proposals to determine what this could look like, we remain committed to investing in bus travel for the people who live and work in our city.
“Making bus journeys faster and much more reliable is crucial to creating a shift from people using cars to buses.
“The A647 sees bus delays that impact on people’s lives making it hard to get to work on time, make important appointments or plan journeys with any kind of reliability. This scheme will make a positive difference to people travelling by bus.
“This scheme underwent significant consultation and looked to address residents’ and business concerns over parking as much as possible while still making the very necessary improvements to the corridor.
“Many sections of bus lane will be restricted to peak hours only to allow for resident and business parking on the highway outside of these hours, including in Calverley and Farsley.”