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Have your say on A647 bus priority corridor work at Armley drop-in event

A public drop-in event will be held later this month in Armley regarding the A647 bus priority corridor, which includes the controversial conversion of Stanningley Road’s two-plus lane into a bus lane, writes Keely Bannister.

Being held at Armley’s Wesley Road Chapel on Wednesday 29th January, the event will start at 3pm until 8pm.

The scheme – which is due to begin construction in February 2020 with works scheduled to last until Spring 2021- includes:

  • 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 Carpet’s) 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.

Residents are invited to learn more about the project as well as details of construction activities.

Conversion of Stanningley Road’s High Occupancy Vehicle Lane has proved unpopular with 50% of respondents to a consultation on the plans giving negative feedback. Armley ward councillors also expressed concerns over congestion.

Calverley & Farsley ward councillors, Amanda and Andrew Carter, have previously expressed concerns over the changes. Councillor Amanda Carter is worried about the impact on residents living adjacent to the scheme, stating:

“I have no doubt this will inconvenience residents.  No longer will they be able to park outside their home, instead displacing others from their parking spots.  Where do we end up? Residents permits that are a hassle and an inconvenience for residents and visitors alike?

“It is good that the council is looking to invest in our local road network but we are far from certain that this is the right approach.”

Fellow councillor Andrew Carter thinks the changes will have a detrimental impact on the climate emergency which the council declared in March 2019, explaining:

“We understand the aim of this scheme and, of course, I would like to see much quicker journey times for Calverley and Farsley residents in and out of Leeds.

“However, the city is still promoting an outdated mode of transport and I am yet to be convinced that reducing capacity for cars on the road network in West Leeds will actually deliver against the ambition to cut congestion.

“I have said on many occasions that there is no ambition in the city’s future transport plans – will this proposal allow us to move forward to an innovative, but deliverable mass-transit solution that will attract more passengers and persuade residents to leave their cars at home? I think not.”

However, Councillor Lisa Mulherin – who holds executive responsibility for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development – hit back at the Carters’ criticisms, saying:

“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.”

People who are unable to attend the drop-in event, and who would like further information are invited to register for updates by visiting the Connecting Leeds website.

Alternatively, people can contact Connecting Leeds by e-mailing connectingleeds@leeds.gov.uk, calling 0113 222 4407 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) or searching @connectingleeds on social media.

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