More details of a multi-million pound package of environmental improvements for the outer ring road between Horsforth and Pudsey have been revealed – and could include a new speed limit imposed for the road and the adjoining Stanningley Bypass.
The overall £20 million Connecting West Leeds scheme, approved by the government in last year’s budget, runs between Horsforth and Dawson’s Corner in Pudsey but is being split into two phases.
A council report has this week approved the designs and authorised the expenditure on the first phase of the scheme.
This involves junction improvements at Fink Hill and widening the Outer Ring Road, just south of Horsforth Roundabout, from one to two lanes. The work will also include Horsforth to Rodley footway and cycle links.
Included within the proposals are instructions to draft a Speed Limit Order to implement a consistent 50mph speed limit from on the Leeds Outer Ring Road and Stanningley Bypass from Horsforth Roundabout to Henconner Lane flyover.
And if no valid objections are received, the council’s solicitor should make, seal and implement the Speed Limit Order as advertised.
The Outer Ring Road speed limit at Horsforth is currently 70mph, and on stretches of Stanningley Bypass it’s 70mph and 60mph.
Work on the first phase is expected to be completed next summer.
The report states:
“The Outer Ring Road cuts across local communities, affecting accessibility to the transport network, jobs, education, and leisure amenities within West Leeds and beyond. The traffic levels and speeds on the Outer Ring Road mean that the route is unattractive to or unusable for active travel modes and creates severance between communities including Farsley, Calverley, Horsforth, Pudsey, and Stanningley.
“There is little choice but to make many short distance trips by car because traffic conditions make it unsafe or unattractive to walk and cycle. Alternatively, trips are not being undertaken at all.”
Fink Hill scheme
The report says the Fink Hill scheme is primarily to improve crossing facilities for pedestrians, provide cycle links and to reduce queueing and delay. The junction currently experiences congestion, delaying traffic movements on the ring road.
The existing Horsforth roundabout junction also experiences significant delays, particularly on the A65 eastbound and westbound.
The Horsforth Merge proposal is to increase the extent of the current merge to improve capacity on the southbound exit towards Rodley by adding two lanes from the roundabout exit for 235 metres and then a further merge length of 100 metres before a return back to a single traffic lane.
The proposal will also benefit buses travelling along the A65 corridor approaching the roundabout.
The report also authorises utility works of £1.288m and tree clearance costing £70,000. The first phase of the project is funded from government ‘Levelling Up’ cash of £7.988m and £3.257m from West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
Phase two – Rodley to Dawsons Corner
Phase two of the scheme is expected to have completed its design stage by spring 2023.
This lncludes the Calverley Lane foot and cycle bridge, Rodley to Dawsons Corner footway and cycleway link, Rodley Roundabout technology improvements, Calverley Lane North and Calverley Bridge road safety measures, Canal footway and cycleway connection and speed camera enforcement.