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Work starts next week on A65 Kirkstall Road temporary cycle lane

Work will start next week on installing a temporary cycle lane along the A65, it’s been announced today.

The measures are part of Leeds City Council’s plans to encourage more active travel across Leeds, which includes encouraging people to walk and cycle thanks to temporarily widened footways and low traffic neighbourhoods.

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Pilot: A65 Kirkstall Road. Photo: Google

Next week will see the installation of the fast-tracked pop-up cycle scheme along the A65 Kirkstall Road to the city centre. 

The first section of temporary cycle lanes will run from Vesper Walk to the city centre and will see “wand orcas” (semi-permanent bollards that are bolted to the road) installed to physically separate the space for cyclists and traffic.

This scheme has been fast-tracked and will be the first of the arterial routes into the city where such measures will be installed.

Leeds City Council is calling for further views on the new emergency walking and cycling plans in the city as part of its response to Covid-19.

An initial round of public consultation which began in May and ended earlier this month saw more than 25,000 contributions received from over 4,500 respondents. Following analysis of the views and comments received, further proposals are now being put forward for consultation.

These include creating active travel neighbourhood schemes in Hyde Park, Holbeck, Lincoln Green, Chapeltown, Beeston and Otley. These provide safe streets with more space for walking and cycling. The schemes will prioritise the movement of people, by closing roads to through traffic and to help deter ‘rat-running’ through highly-populated areas.

Views are also sought on the ambitious 100 kilometres of new trial cycling routes, including the A660, A61 Wakefield Road, A58 Roundhay Road and Roseville Road. These will also see trial interventions using ‘wand orcas’ (semi-permanent bollards attached to the road) to physically separate the space for cyclists and traffic.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, said:

“The council’s aspiration is to make cycling and walking for shorter journeys a natural everyday travel choice. This starts by giving people the space they need over motorised vehicles to keep safe on our streets, whether on their bike, wheel chair, push chair or on their own two feet. Only when people feel safe, will they enjoy the convenience of active travel, which will support their own health and wellbeing.

“I’m excited to see the A65 Kirkstall Road first pop-up cycling scheme implemented next week, along with the other identified cycling and active travel neighbourhood schemes to come forward quickly.

“We need to create momentum to achieve our long-term ambition of 800kms of segregated cycle routes to support much cleaner air and reduce the polluting traffic on our roads. All this will have huge public health benefits.”

Social distancing measures already undertaken by the council include barriers to widen pavements in the city centre and across town centres to provide space around shops.

Six school streets pilots began on 1 June – including one at Pudsey Primrose Hill School – restricting traffic movements outside of schools during drop off and pick up times.

Residents can view and comment on all these proposals here.

Due to the response to the first round of consultation the ‘suggest a scheme’ via the city map will still be available and further phases of work may be planned based on replies to develop the future Connecting Leeds transport strategy.

The council will develop this work under the ‘safe streets, save lives’ campaign, in direct response to the funding bid on 5 June to the Department for Transport, from £2.5million allocated to the region via the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

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