Two Calverley and Farsley councillors have expressed concerns over the progression of the A647 Bus Corridor proposals.
As reported earlier this month, senior council transport officers 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”.
But the two councillors have expressed concerns that it will make living alongside it more difficult.
Cllrs Andrew and Amanda Carter (Cons) believe businesses could be affected and local parking problems could be exacerbated as restrictions on the main A647 route disperse cars to residential areas on side streets that do not have the physical capacity to take extra cars.
Cllr Andrew Carter thinks this may actually be detrimental to the Climate Emergency as it could create greater levels of congestion and pollution in residential streets as drivers jostle for limited parking spaces. He said:
“We understand the aim of this scheme and, of course, I would like to see much quicker journey times for Calverley and Farsley residents in and out of Leeds.
“However, the city is still promoting an outdated mode of transport and I am yet to be convinced that reducing capacity for cars on the road network in West Leeds will actually deliver against the ambition to cut congestion.
“I have said on many occasions that there is no ambition in the city’s future transport plans – will this proposal allow us to move forward to an innovative, but deliverable mass-transit solution that will attract more passengers and persuade residents to leave their cars at home? I think not.”
Councillor Amanda Carter added:
“I have no doubt this will inconvenience residents. No longer will they be able to park outside their home, instead displacing others from their parking spots. Where do we end up? Residents permits that are a hassle and an inconvenience for residents and visitors alike?
“It is good that the council is looking to invest in our local road network but we are from certain that this is the right approach.”
“Creating a shift from people using cars to buses”
Cllr Lisa Mulherin (Lab), Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development, hit back at the Carters’ criticisms. She said:
“We all share the desire to see a mass transit system in Leeds or beyond. While we work with West Yorkshire Combined Authority on new proposals to determine what this could look like, we remain committed to investing in bus travel for the people who live and work in our city.
“Making bus journeys faster and much more reliable is crucial to creating a shift from people using cars to buses.
“The A647 sees bus delays that impact on people’s lives making it hard to get to work on time, make important appointments or plan journeys with any kind of reliability. This scheme will make a positive difference to people travelling by bus.
“This scheme underwent significant consultation and looked to address residents’ and business concerns over parking as much as possible while still making the very necessary improvements to the corridor.
“Many sections of bus lane will be restricted to peak hours only to allow for resident and business parking on the highway outside of these hours, including in Calverley and Farsley.”
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.