Photo: Betty Longbottom, wikimedia image used under Creative Commons Licence

Dawsons Corner and Stanningley Bypass improvements included in bid for government cash

25 August 2019

Major development works to Dawsons Corner Junction and Stanningley Bypass have been included in Transport for the North’s £700 million bid for a slice of a government scheme to finance 16 road projects, writes Keely Bannister.

Funded by revenue raised from Vehicle Excise Duty paid from 2020/21, the National Road Funds (NRF) investment will provide funding to schemes which support a reduction in congestion, and support economic growth and housing delivery.

A document setting out the case for investment in roads, details the proposed improvements to Dawsons Corner junction and Stanningley Bypass in the following way:

“Bus priority lanes on East and West approaches to junction, structural upgrade of Wood Nook Tunnel to facilitate three lanes in each direction, enhancements to pedestrian and cyclist facilities around the junction.

“[These will] provide better and safer connections to New Pudsey Station and Priesthorpe School, landscaping and other Green Streets design features, plus 4.5km structural renewal of Stanningley Bypass in the concrete carriageway and provision of average speed cameras.”

In the same document, the benefits of the above proposals are listed as:

  • Improves capacity, flexibility and reliability at key intersection junction
  • Provides bus priority infrastructure to support wider committed investment on the adjacent arterial corridor between Leeds-Bradford
  • Reduces severance and improves safety for pedestrians and cyclists 
  • Removes significant maintenance liability, and associated highway disruption associated with current condition of Stanningley Bypass
  • Directly supports housing growth c.900 new homes, additionally supporting development in the wider area by creating improved network capacity and management 
  • Supports creation of new jobs by improving access to Leeds City Region (54 jobs forecast to be directly created)

These suggested improvements were first mooted by Leeds City Council in September 2017 and have been developed with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) under the Connecting Leeds banner.

An outline business case put together by the WYCA put the cost of the reconfiguration of the junction at just over £20 million with a completion timeline of June 2021.

Costings for the improvement works aren’t included in the Transport for the North reports, but completion is still expected to be 2021.

Councillor Andrew Carter (Cons, Calverley & Farsley), welcomed the investment, telling the Yorkshire Evening Post:  

“We know that the junction is at capacity during peak times and that is only going to get worse unless there is reconfiguration of the junction, so it is welcome news. The Stanningley Bypass and Dawson’s Corner are very much linked to each other and that runs into Dawson’s Corner, so it makes sense that these are the two schemes that Transport for the North are bidding for.”

Not everyone has welcomed the news though.

Paul Chatterton, professor of urban futures at the University of Leeds and one of the creators of Lilac housing, tweeted:

“We really are stuck as a city -not realising the scale of task ahead to tackle climate breakdown, community resilience and toxic air. We need to shift mobility from road transport asap. On a mass scale. That’s where @Transport4North resources a should go. Act like an emergency.”

What do you think of the investment? Let us know in the comments below.

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ALEX MCWHINNIE says:

Whilst I welcome any improvements at Dawsons Corner I agree that our priorities should be improving air quality in our area.
We are leaving a legacy for our children of toxic air which is many times over the legal limit.
I am old enough to remember smog and the devastation that caused to many millions of people lives.
The Clean Air Act helped to eradicate that.
We now need similar,radical action to conquer this problem which is at least incapacitating vast numbers of our population and at worst killing them.