More details of the A647 Bus Priority Corridor scheme have been revealed as plans to cut bus journey times and improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians along the busy Bradford to Leeds route take a step forward, writes Keely Bannister.
Senior council transport officers have approved preliminary designs for the road which a report states will “provide estimated bus journey time savings of 10 minutes inbound in the morning peak, and nine minutes outbound in the afternoon peak, as well as improving bus reliability”.
The proposed scheme 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 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.
To implement these changes, a number of Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) will be required. Senior council transport officers have agreed the TROs, which can be viewed in full here, and they will be implemented if no valid objections are made.
Parts of the scheme have proved controversial, particularly the conversion of Stanningley Road’s High Occupancy Vehicle Lane into a bus lane.
Consultation on the change saw 50% of respondents giving negative feedback and Armley ward councillors have also expressed concerns over the impact on residents and congestion.
The council report responds to these concerns by highlights the positives to bus journeys:
“Extensive modelling has been undertaken as part of the design process in order to fully understand the likely impacts of the scheme on bus journey times and congestion in the area.
“The modelling results show that the proposals between Bramley Town End Roundabout and Armley Gyratory will reduce journey times for the dominant east-west movements during the peak periods.
“Specifically, the model results predict average journey time savings for general traffic of 3.3 minutes for inbound journeys in the morning peak, and 6 minutes for outbound journeys in the afternoon peak.
“This is in addition to average bus journey time savings of 6 minutes inbound in the morning peak, and 6 minutes outbound in the afternoon peak.”
The Bradford border to Dawson’s Corner changes have also proved somewhat unpopular with 42% of consultation respondents giving negative feedback and Calverley & Farsley councillors expressing residents parking concerns.
The report counters:
“In response, parking surveys were undertaken, with results being reported to local ward members. The results of the surveys show that there is limited parking on Bradford Road, and that sufficient parking is available on adjacent side streets to accommodate vehicles displaced by the new bus lanes. All of the frontages affected have off-street parking available.”
Construction of the A647 Bus Priority Corridor scheme is programmed to start in January 2020 and be completed by March 2021.
Detailed designs to give buses priority at the Armley Road, Canal Street and Gloucester Terrace junction have already been given the green light with plans to improve Armley Gyratory also progressing.
You can view all the details associated with this decision here.