Tuesday, October 20, 2020
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Leeds outer ring road improvements could be ‘paused’

Plans to improve Leeds’ outer ring road could soon be “paused”, as regional transport chiefs want to shift £11m towards improving roads in and around Leeds city centre, writes Richard Beecham.

The Leeds City Centre Package (LCCP) programme includes improvements at Infirmary Street, City Square, Armley Gyratory, and Meadow Lane, as well as smaller schemes as a result of the closure of City Square.

Officers at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) want permission to move £11m of funding from the A6110 Outer Ring Road scheme – which cuts through parts of West Leeds – to the LCCP to support other schemes “crucial to the effective operation of the highway network in Leeds”.

A report by WYCA claimed it was still committed to delivering the ring road scheme, currently in the very early stages of development, adding that it would keep £1m to develop an outline business case.

However, it adds that the scheme will then “pause” until further funding is found.

As WLD reported last year, proposed improvements to the A6110 Outer Ring Road included junction improvements at congestion hotspots.

Early proposals also included a potential segregated cycle facilities to link with the cycle superhighway in Stanningley and a further six new pedestrian crossings along the A6110.

Junctions such as this at Geldard Road could have been improved

The report, set to go before WYCA’s investment committee this week, added:

“The LCCP programme aspiration is to transform travel within the city centre, by removing unnecessary through traffic.

“The programme includes the closure of City Square, capacity improvements to junctions on the Inner Ring Road (IRR) to mitigate the effect of diverted traffic, and highway improvements for pedestrians and cyclists to roads in the South Bank, to capitalise on the traffic reductions, improving the city centre environment.”

“A reduction in traffic levels will increase the opportunities to improve public spaces with green infrastructure, as well as the opportunity to expand the active travel network (cycling and walking), improving accessibility and connectivity via sustainable modes of transport to and through the city centre, encouraging city centre living, potentially reducing travel demand.

“The LCCP programme supports inclusive growth of a better quality of life, improving multi modal (bus, rail, walking, cycling) access to employment, education, and retail through a low emission and sustainable transport system and supports better air quality and improvement to public spaces in the city centre.”

Regional councillors will vote on whether to reallocate £11m from the A6110 Outer Ring Road scheme, reducing its indicate scheme allocation from £12m to £1m to LCCP, increasing the total from £66.8m to £77.8m.

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