Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Accessibility concerns grow over Bramley Bus Interchange as work continues a year after it should have ended

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New shelters and real-time bus shelters at Bramley Bus Interchange - but there is concern about their accessibility. Photo: Louis Chapman-Coombe

By Louis Chapman-Coombe

Bus users have voiced their anger over delayed works to Bramley Bus Interchange, which are still on-going almost a year after they should have been completed. 

The works on the Bramley Bus Interchange were scheduled to be completed on New Year’s Eve last year, following a £495,000 revamp funded by West Yorkshire Combined Authority. 

The works were originally approved in June 2020 as part of a £7.4 million package of city-wide transport improvements, with work originally scheduled to start in February 2021. But the start of work was delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic and workmen didn’t start on site until last November.

The planned improvements have come in gradually over the past 13 months, with the new real-time screens only becoming operational in the past few weeks.

New shelters have also been installed, but bus users are complaining these are too narrow, especially for those who are disabled or are wheelchair and mobility scooter users.

Muddy Bramley Bus Interchange on a foggy morning. Photo: Louis Chapman-Coombe

 Mobility scooter user Amy Francom, 35, from Bramley, said: “I really struggle getting on the buses with my scooter; the gap is way too small.” 

Bus user Carol Mann, 67, from Bramley also mentioned the size of the shelters was an issue. She said: “These bus shelters you have no chance… people just can’t get past, especially wheelchairs.”  

The work on Bramley Bus Interchange is still not completed, with banks of mud still unaltered from the start of the operation last year.

The main island in the middle, an area which has been left for an additional bus stop, still does not have a shelter built and is currently used by out-of-service buses. A loading area, which is part of the planned work, is currently used as an unofficial car park by punters from Old Unicorn Pub across the road. 

Catherine Blake, 58, from Bramley added her thoughts on the mud banks next to the stops. “Well they aren’t very helpful for people getting off the bus,” she said. 

The works were originally approved in June 2020, as part of a £7.4 million package to improve city-wide transport links. 

WLD understands work on planting the area has been delayed ‘due to a lack of resources’ in the council’s parks and countryside department and is now due to start on Wednesday.

Concerns continue to be aired over unfinished Bramley Bus Interchange. Photo: Louis Chapman-Coombe

Councillors’ concerns

Councillors Kevin Ritchie and Caroline Gruen (Lab, Bramley & Stanningley) backed residents’ concerns.

They said in a statement: “We share the disappointment with the delay in completing the agreed works at Bramley Bus station, which was an important project of the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme (LPTIP) to improve bus flow and safety at Bramley Bus Station. 

“We have been in constant contact with the project team about the shortcomings for some time now. As a result the real-time displays were installed, the benches secured and improvements to the surface finish completed.”

They said the council’s parking enforcement team are responsible for parking on the loading bay and are aware and including on their patrols.

“The missing bus stop on the top island will be fitted when the bus companies need to bring the lane into service,” the councillors added. “The lane is currently being used for driver swaps, resulting in less congestion.

“The biggest disappointment is the inaccessible bus stops, of which WYCA have conceded they have made a mistake on the shelter provision, with them switching the shelters like for like without consideration for updated regulations on disability access.

“This was of particular concern to me (Cllr Ritchie). I’m Disability Champion at LCC, at a council committed to the Social Model of Disability, which recognises that it is society, through barriers and attitudes, which places limits on a person, not their disability. The shelters will be addressed soon and hopefully lessons learned for future projects, to ensure facilities are accessible for all.”

The works are being overseen by West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Council. WLD contacted them for comment on Friday but has yet to receive a reply.

The improvements aim to provide a safer overall layout and improve pedestrian movement by introducing better waiting facilities and real-time travel information.

WLD has featured residents’ concerns about the bus station work throughout the year. In June we featured concerns of the ‘mess’ at the interchange, with a council spokesperson at the time blaming the delay on issues surrounding securing electricity power connections to the new bus shelters.

In September residents were still expressing concerns as engineers returned to work nine months after the scheduled finish date.

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Events will get you into the festive spirit in Rodley

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The Church in Rodley. Photo: Google

Rodley residents will be able to enjoy a raft of community events in the run up to Christmas.

Christmas Coffee Morning

Saturday, 10 December 2022 – 10am to 11.30am at the Church Hall, Wesley Terrace.

Christingle Service

Sunday, 11 December – 4pm at The Church in Rodley, Wesley Terrace.

Carols by Candlelight

Wednesday, 14 December – 7pm to 8pm with The Clifton and Lightcliffe Brass Band at the Church Hall, Wesley Terrace. Event arranged by Rodley Village Community Group.

Family Nativity Service

Sunday, 18 December – 11am at The Church in Rodley, Wesley Terrace.

Christmas Day Family Celebration

Sunday, 25 December – 10am at The Church in Rodley.

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Letter: Lack of clear Government direction on dementia ‘costs time and hope’

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Sir;- Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer, and one of the greatest health challenges facing society.

Earlier this year the UK Government announced a ‘visionary’ 10-year Plan for Dementia, aiming to increase diagnosis and support people with their health and care needs.

This announcement provided hope for the 900,000 living with dementia in the UK. The Government promised to publish the plan by the end of 2022 – but we are still waiting, and my patience is wearing thin.

With a change in Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, not once, not twice, but three times since July, progress on the 10-Year Plan for Dementia has stalled. And now, 19 times over, the Government have responded to questioning, stating “further information will be available in due course”.

While I am thrilled by the recent positive drug trial results, they give hope for the future, but for those living in the now, this lack of clear direction from the Government is costing them time and hope.

Dementia is long overdue a plan, and people affected by dementia are long overdue the respect and consideration they deserve. But without delivering on their commitments, the Government are making a clear statement; dementia is not their priority. 

Publishing a plan to improve the lives of people affected by dementia is so important to me because I have a good friend who has Alzheimer’s. It is so hard to see him struggling with it, he was a nurse who got high up in his profession.

The Government must publish the 10-year Plan for Dementia now and help people in this area affected by dementia live more fulfilled and less fearful lives.  

Dementia doesn’t wait for due course – we need a #PlanD now.

Michael Hanogue, Pudsey

Multi-million pound Dawsons Corner improvements will be paused

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Dawsons Corber Farsley
Dawsons Corner. Photo: Betty Longbottom, wikimedia image used under Creative Commons Licence

Plans to overhaul busy Dawsons Corner in a bid to ease congestion and decrease bus journey times WILL be ‘paused’ for at least a year due to spiralling costs.

The scheme is one of dozens across West Yorkshire whose mothballing is expected to save around £270m.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority has already spent £1.9m on the scheme, but a report considered by councillors states the pausing will save £6m. Final approval to proceed with the scheme has now been pushed back until November 2023.

As reported by WLD in October, Leeds City Council approved plans that would see the four-way junction redesigned, with a view to widening the approach roads, installing new bus lanes and pedestrian crossings and improving cycling provision. The proposals were originally due to cost around £20m.

A report says a mix of high inflation costs and pressures created by the war in Ukraine and Covid are to blame for the financial predicament. It says: “Costs have and continue to increase on all transport programmes, however the funding allocation remains the same, meaning there is a significant risk that the funding allocations won’t be able to fund all the current projects within the transport programmes.

“The Combined Authority and partners want to continue to deliver the programmes in their entirety, therefore the agreed way forward is to pause and pipeline certain projects for delivery over a longer time frame and continue to deliver prioritised projects at pace.”

Also on the list of projects likely to be paused is the South East Bradford Access Road.

The plan – currently costed at £46.3m, would see a new route created between Holme Wood and Westgate Hill Street in Tong.

The project has proved controversial, with a section of the route likely to pass through the Green Belt between Bradford and Pudsey.

Other schemes listed for a pause include improvements on the A61 Scott Hall Road and A58 Roundhay Road, which were projected to cost £14m and £9.5m respectively.

Rail parking packages at a number of stations – including Guiseley, Apperley Bridge and Outwood – will also be delayed, alongside plans for an inland port at Stourton.

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In photos: Bramley Park new plantings, mixed fog and sunshine over Kirkstall and canal

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Bramley Park
Bramley Park. Photo: Susan Tellum

WLD reader and amateur photographer Susan Tellum has been out and about with her camera, capturing the beauty of West Leeds.

Here’s a slideshow of Susan’s latest photos:

Do you have photos you would like to share? E-mail them to news@westleedsdispatch.com and we’ll use the best.

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Antiques and Collectibles at Pudsey Civic Hall

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Ivor Hughes reports from Dualco Fairs’ event in Pudsey on Sunday, 4 December.

Dualco Fairs, based in Manchester, was founded in 1982. Co-founder Stan Green is now supported by son Phil. Over the years, Dualco has run fairs as far northwest as Lancaster, as far east as Hull and in Coventry to the south.

Although their events are now confined to five venues along the M62 corridor (east to west) at Leigh Sports Village (nr Wigan), Bolton Wanderers’ Stadium, George Carnall Leisure Centre (Manchester), Pudsey Civic Hall and Doncaster Racecourse.

Pudsey Civic Hall has been a key venue for 30 years with easy access and plentiful and adjacent free parking on a Sunday.

Antiques fairs – then

The eighties and nineties were the golden era for antiques and collectibles fairs.  Public interest was maintained by Antiques Roadshow. Numerous dedicated magazines and price guides such as Miller’s informed that interest.

Then the internet started hitting hard. Especially after the widespread uptake of broadband twenty years ago. Broadband provided the uninterrupted speeds necessary to transmit and upload high quality images to websites such as eBay, connecting dealers and collectors with the rest of the world.

Now

Harrogate is a good example of the decline in fairs. There were as many as eight different antiques and collectibles fairs in Harrogate at the time, some of them monthly. A steady decline in numbers of exhibitors and visitors reduced their size and frequencies to the point of closure. The costs at the venues became disproportionate to the organisers and exhibitors alike.

Now there is just the one organiser advertising only three in 2023 – Cooper Fairs at Harrogate Pavilions. That one definitely more antique than collectible.

Most of the decline happened without the help of Covid. But the duration and uncertainty of the pandemic, worldwide, forced otherwise unwilling dealers to the internet – where many have stayed.

Pudsey on 4 December

It is a credit to Dualco and the venue that the event is now recovering to pre-Covid levels with around 50 dealers offering thousands of antiques, collectibles and vintage clothing and accessories stretching from a few pounds into the hundreds.

Stan Green said: “Changing Covid restrictions made forward planning impossible – though not in the case of Leigh Sports Village. We lost that venue for the whole duration while it was a vaccination centre.”

Dualco’s next events at Pudsey Civic Hall are on 22 January and 2 April.

Militaria are always popular. The first three medals are the standard issue for WWI. Each has minor variations. The Star was awarded to the earliest participants. The silver British War Medal and bronze gilt Allied Victory Medal were also awarded to Star recipients and later arrivals. Here the BWM and AVM have been crossed onto the wrong ribbons.

Unlike comparable WWII medals, each is named. Medals awarded to members of front line and Commonwealth regiments and RFC/RAF are generally worth more, particularly officers and casualties. These WWI medals are named to Driver 1481 William Schoon, Royal Field Artillery.

The fourth medal was for long service in the voluntary police (Specials). The four were priced at £140.

Vintage fashion and accessories have been a growth area over the past twenty years and have generated hundreds of dedicated fairs. This stallholder specialises in top fashion brands such as Chanel and Yves St Laurent.

Here a pair of boxed unworn Dior Spy Button boots for £500, less than half the original retail price. The fact that same pair were also on eBay demonstrates the crossover to the internet.

James Ferguson specialises in high quality decorative items such as Lalique glass and Royal Doulton, Moorcroft and Troika pottery. He also stands at fairs in Doncaster, Hexham, Newark and Stafford.
Costume jewellery is always popular and invariably inexpensive.
The value of silver coins and medallions is enhanced by scarcity – notably the year of issue and any mint marks.
A few pounds can buy hundreds of millions of years of prehistory.
Vintage fabrics are always popular.
Antique and vintage enamel signs are getting harder and harder to find. This c1920 8” square sign, with maker’s name, was priced at £60.

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Letter: Community rallies around Farsley lights switch on – coronation event planned

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Crowds packed Farsley Town Street for the big switch on. Photo: Joanne Haigh

Sir;- This year, Farsley Christmas lights switch on, as already reported, was a great success. 

Many thanks must go to the Farsley folk and local businesses for donating toward the cost this year. Prices for everything had gone up and we were looking at a black hole. 

Thankfully, people in Farsley and businesses donated, and as a result, we will have some funds to put toward the planned celebrations for the coronation of HM King Charles III.

There was however, one difficulty in that we were swamped with unwanted street traders.  Grateful thanks must go to our stewards, security and to the police for helping out. 

However the Council must take a stronger line – it isn’t on for my volunteers and stewards to deal with aggressive street traders supposedly brandishing licences.  I have asked that we get more support from the licensing department.

Cllr Andrew Carter, Farley Lights Committee

Volunteers plant 3,000 new trees in Bramley Park

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Volunteers have been taking part in tree planting in Bramley Park

Around 80 volunteers have helped to plant 3,000 new trees in Bramley Park.

The planting done will help the park remain a vibrant place for locals to visit while also supporting Leeds City Council’s ambition to plant 5.8 million trees by 2045.

Trees form a vital part of the environment, with woodlands providing a place to connect with nature, help people to relax and unwind, which benefits both mental and physical health.

The trees planted were of a variety of species – including pine, hazel, rowan, holly and guelder rose – to help ensure a strong diversity of the habitat for local wildlife species.

The planting comes a matter of weeks after a new volunteer-led Friends of Bramley Park group was formed at a public meeting.

Councillors Kevin Ritchie and Caroline Gruen (Labour, Bramley and Stanningley) were also present. Cllr Ritchie said: “We would like to thank the fabulous volunteers who joined us and our Leeds City Council staff for the tree planting sessions at Bramley Park.

“We look forward to seeing these new trees grow into a vibrant woodland, to be enjoyed by generations to come and help contribute to tackling climate change.

“This is only the start of the planting season and if anyone else out there is interested in volunteering, I would urge them to get in touch with us or to check the council’s website.”

Councillors Caroline Gruen and Kevin Ritchie were at the tree planting.

Anyone interested in volunteering for tree planting can e-mail woodlandcreation@leeds.gov.uk to be notified of up and coming events during the tree planting season which takes place in the winter months from late November until February.

Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew praises Farsley social enterprise Scrap on Small Business Saturday

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stuart Andrew scrap leeds
Farsley visit: From left, Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew, Key Fund CEO Matt Smith, Scrap director Charlie Stanley, Scrap founder Louise Lucas and James Westhead, Head of Engagement, Big Society Capital.

Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew visited a unique Farsley social enterprise reusing waste materials in celebration of Small Business Saturday.

Mr Andrew, who this week attracted national attention for wearing a OneLove armband during England’s world cup game, visited Scrap – a social enterprise which has used social investment to expand into a larger shop and workshop space at Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley.

Now the organisation has grown it diverts around 600 skips full  of non-toxic business waste every year from landfill into arts materials for the local community.

As well as avoiding an estimated 100 tonnes of waste annually, it provides more than 50 local schools and up to 12,000 local people with affordable art, craft and play resources as well as providing training and workshops in how to use them creatively.

The visit was arranged by Big Society Capital – the independent financial institution set up to grow investment into enterprises with a social purpose.

Visit: Stuart Andrew MP visited Scrap at Sunny Bank Mills.

Mr Andrew, new Minister for Civil Society, said: “Scrap is absolutely extraordinary. What’s really amazing is that this has so many benefits. All of this stuff would have been sent to landfill. How good for the environment that they are saving it!

“It’s a great resource for local community groups, schools and anyone who can make use of it. It is an excellent example of how social enterprise can make a real difference to our communities.”

Louise Lucas, founder at Scrap Centre of Creative Reuse & Learning, said: “We started Scrap 15 years ago in a small cold leaky unit, but we always had a vision for a larger organisation like this, employing people and running workshops and doing so much more for children, schools and the community.

“Now through social investment from the Key Fund we are doing it and are self-sustainable and don’t depend on funding which is fantastic.”

sunny bank mills farsley
Sunny Bank Mills, off Farsley Town Street

Matt Smith, Chief Executive at Key Fund, said: “Our investment has done exactly what we hoped. We believe relatively small amounts of money can make a huge difference helping organisations to grow, to develop trading activity and be more sustainable in financial terms but also to deliver even more impact in the communities they serve.

“So seeing this just reinforces the need for small investments like this as without that initial backing and support then it wouldn’t have happened.”

James Westhead, Head of Engagement at Big Society Capital, said: “Big Society capital was founded with unused dormant assets from banks and building societies so it is wonderful to see such an enterprising small business re-using that money to make such a big difference in the local community.

“We hope the government will allocate future dormant assets to continue to unlock this kind of entrepreneurial energy and positive social benefit in other communities.”

Farsley Celtic slip to narrow defeat at Peterborough Sports

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peterborough sports v Farsley Celtic
Farsley Celtic narrowly lost to Peterborough Sports. Photo: Tom Ritchie/Farsley Celtic FC

By John Baron

Farsley Celtic remain firmly in the National League North relegation zone following a narrow defeat at new-boys Peterborough Sports.

It was a game full of graft and endeavour, but lacking in quality as both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances.

As has often been the case this season, The Celts had the better of the first half.

Chances were rare at either end, with Sports’ keeper Peter Crook making a decent save at his near post from Frank Mulhern’s strike and comfortably saving a strike from Celts skipper Chris Atkinson, who departed the field with a hamstring injury.

At the other end Farsley stopper Max Dearnley hurried across goal to keep out Mark Jones’ deflected strike.

The second half was equally scrappy but saw the home side have the better of play. A goal 10 minutes into the half saw quick reactions from Jones to head home a wayward shot from Maniche Sani.

The home side could have added a second, but for a goal-line block from Lewis Turner.

The closest the visitors came to an equaliser saw Luke Parkin drag an effort just wide, with Carlton Ubaezuonu just unable to reach it on the stretch.

The travelling Celt Army, who brought donations to Peterborough’s food bank appeal, remained behind the team and manager throughout. New loan signings Nathaniel Wallace and Connor Teale made promising debuts, despite only meeting their teammates on the morning of the match. Andy Butler also had a fine game at the heart of the defence.

But there were also the first signs of fan discontent during the second half, with a section of the visiting Celt Army voicing their frustrations at owner Paul Barthorpe and calling for new investment at the club.

The Celts are back in action at The Citadel on Tuesday night, with high-flying Kings Lynn Town the visitors. Ticket information here.

Line ups

Peterborough Sports: Peter Crook, Kayden Williams-Lowe, Nathan Fox, Ryan Fryatt, Connor Johnson, Dan Lawlor, Connor Kennedy, Josh McCammon, Maniche Sani, Mark Jones, Diod Sembie-Ferris: Subs: Nicholson, Jones, Jarvis.

Farsley Celtic: Max Dearnley; Lewis Turner, Andy Butler, Connor Teale, Lewis Butroid; Carlton Ubaezuono, Bobby Johnson, Chris Atkinson; Frank Mulhern, Jimmy Spencer, Luke Parkin. Subs: Syers, Dube, Osadebe, Wallace, Mason.

Attendance: 264.

Match reaction

Celts boss Ross Wilcox said he couldn’t fault the players’ application and felt his side – hit by injuries and suspensions – deserved a point from the game. He said The Celts needed to keep going, with two important home league games coming up:

League table

Defeat leaves The Celts second bottom in the National League North, five points from safety.

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Planning applications: 4 December 2022

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Each week we publish a list of the latest planning applications related to the six council wards in West Leeds.

The following new applications were published on the Leeds City Council website in the past seven days:

Armley Ward

Bramley & Stanningley Ward

Calverley & Farsley Ward

Farnley & Wortley Ward

Kirkstall Ward

Pudsey Ward


Decided applications

Here are the planning applications decided by Leeds City Council this week:

Armley Ward

Bramley & Stanningley Ward

Calverley & Farsley Ward

Farnley & Wortley Ward

Kirkstall Ward

Pudsey Ward

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Farsley Celtic back on the road with early start at Peterborough

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Frank Mulhern farsley celtic
Frank Mulher leaps high for Farsley Celtic. Photo: John McEvoy/Leeds Shots

By Thomas Ritchie

Farsley Celtic head back on the road this weekend, travelling to Peterborough Sports for an early-afternoon kick-off.

The Celts have had a 10-day break since their last action, a 2-0 defeat to Chester, and Saturday marks the start of a busy December, with five games scheduled within the next 14 days.

Having been out of action, Farsley have slipped to 23rd in the division, leaving Russ Wilcox’s side hoping that tomorrow marks a turnaround in fortunes that can kickstart a move up the table.

However, they will be buoyed by their last venture on the road, when they defeated Bradford (Park Avenue) 2-1 in the FA Trophy, to end a run of three-straight away defeats.

Peterborough will head into the weekend full of confidence, sitting ninth in the division, amid a six-game unbeaten run, which was extended last weekend with a 2-0 victory over Leamington.

A win over the Celts could see the Turbines, in their first season at this level, move into the play-off places.

TEAM NEWS

Farsley Celtic will be without suspended trio Tom Allan, Isaac Assenso and Kian Scales following red cards against Chester. Allan and Assenso will both be eligible to return on Tuesday, whilst Scales begins a three-game suspension. There’s no news on the return of talisman striker Jimmy Spencer, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.

TICKETS

Admission is on the gate only. Full information can be found by clicking here.

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