Letter: Hold election candidates to account over redesigning streets for people, not cars

woodhall road crossing calverley 2
A pedestrian crossing on Woodhall Road in Calverley. Photo: Anne Akers

Dear sir,

During the pandemic, many of us rediscovered the simple act of walking – the oldest, cheapest and greenest transport there is. Walking kept us connected to ourselves and to others and helped us to stay healthy and happy. 

Walking is good for our minds, our bodies, and our cities, towns and villages.

But lots of us still struggle with narrow, cluttered, uneven pavements; crossings that prioritise cars rather than people; and growing numbers of speeding vehicles.

It doesn’t have to be like this. That’s why I support the demands Living Streets has made ahead of this year’s elections, calling on candidates to pledge to improve our streets for all, cut air pollution and make walking easier and safer. Visit livingstreets.org.uk/may22 for more info.

Candidates must commit to set Vision Zero targets of significant reductions in people killed and injured on our roads. We call for commitments on default 20mph speed limits in built-up areas, improvements to our crossings and junctions and an increase in the number of low traffic neighbourhoods. One person killed on our roads is one too many. 

It is time we redesigned our streets around people, not cars. That way we can all enjoy the benefits of walking and build healthier, happier communities.

  • Eric Lewis, 14 Castle Grove Drive, Leeds


  1. Totally ignoring that many many people rely on their cars to get to work (gone are the days when people could work locally since jobs outsourced offshore), or elderly/disabled who can’t walk. Leeds is ready hump city which creates frustration/aggressive driving as people speed up to get to a hump before the opposite driver. The more restrictions the council puts in the more frustration and aggressive driving we see.

  2. Totally ignoring the fact that many people like mysel have disabilities which mean that the only way we can leave our homes is by car. Leeds has already made the city centre inaccessible to me as I cannot park close enough to the stores I would want to visit. Accessing local hospitals is becoming more difficult as on site parking is more and more restricted. Public transport is generally inaccessible even if I was able to walk from home to the closest bus stop. Our needs are totally ignored.

  3. I have to walk on the road on Cardigan Road because the cars park on the pavement, so they can be nearer the cafes and don’t have to walk to them. This is not only dangerous but thoughtless to pedestrians.
    Also, why where the planters removed on brudenell road and round about that area. The council took them away because a few influential people protested. That stopped some of the traffic on what is a built up area, cutting down polution.

  4. All road closures do is move the problem elsewhere. As in Morley. Closed Morley bottoms off to traffic, created traffic problems on another road. The fact is, we’re a over populated country. Jobs have gone offshore meaning people have to travel for work. The councils attacking the results. Local jobs that pay enough to live on meaning people don’t need to use cars for work would solve a lot of the traffic problems. But greedy business leaders won’t do that. It’s more luctrtive to use slave labour offshore.


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