A new scheme to make a dangerous bridge safer for pedestrians and cyclists is among a £2.7 million raft of projects to improve road safety across the city.
A Leeds City Council report proposes Wyther Lane Bridge will benefit from measures to make it safer, while also revealing a scheme to widen the A65 cycle lane as well as creating a ‘low traffic neighbourhood’ in the Armley and Wortley area.
The improvements are part of the council’s ongoing Active Travel Fund project, which aims to create an environment that is safe for both walking and cycling across Leeds.
The report authorises the council to start consultation, detailed design, and implementation of the schemes.
Wyther Lane Bridge
The proposals include introducing signals at the bridge. There are also plans to reduce the width of the road to widen the footpath to make it safer for pedestrians.
The improvements follow a car crash which partially destroyed part of the bridge in March.
The incident led to a petition, started by Bramley resident Paul Chatterton, which called for signalisation and widening of the footpath. At the time of going to press, the petition had been signed by 688 people.
The petition also called for the council to look into a separate bridge for those on foot, scooters, wheelchairs, pushchairs and cycles.
A65 Kirkstall Road/Abbey Road
Leeds City Council is proposing to widen the existing light segregated cycle lane to improve accessibility and maintenance of the route and extend the scheme to Kirkstall Abbey.
The report says the scheme will see the reduction or loss of central hatching and right turn pockets but acknowledges there’s a risk of delays to buses and general traffic. It adds: “There is some uncertainty in terms cumulative impact loss of right turn pockets will have.”
Armley/Wortley active travel neighbourhood
The council wants to make communities much more child, pedestrian and cycle friendly by creating active travel neighbourhoods – also known as ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’.
The aim is to improve road safety, encourage children to play outside, promote walking and cycling and make the air in these residential streets cleaner to breathe.
They aim to create an area in the Armley and Wortley area, involving segregated cycle lanes on busier roads and local improvements and some roads closed to motor traffic within the neighbourhood. The report adds:
“These measures will help enable more people to make local journeys on foot and by bike, to shops, health services and workplaces in the area, as well reach cycle routes on main roads into the city centre which will delivered through current investment programmes, including improvements to Armley Gyratory.”
The exact area(s) of the active travel neighbourhood have not been released.
More details on active travel neighbourhoods can be found here.
The council is also proposing to review existing school streets, with a view to making these changes permanent.
School streets have been trialled in West Leeds at Pudsey Primrose Hill, Beecroft Primary School in Kirkstall and Hollybush Primary School in Bramley.
Rodley to Horsforth cycle route
The report also adds proposals for a new cycle route between Rodley and Horsforth along the existing verge on the Outer Ring Road.
The scheme is subject to the £20 million Levelling Up Fund bid which the council is due to submit to the Government this week. The bid includes “revolutionary” travel and environmental improvements at the outer ring road between Horsforth and Pudsey. This includes a safe pedestrian crossing across the ring road to link Calverley and Farsley. More details about the bid are available here.
Who’s funding all this?
The money comes from Government. Department for Transport confirmed on the 20th November 2020 that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority would receive £10.053m of Tranche 2 funding for the whole of West Yorkshire. £2.7m of that has been allocated to Leeds.
The council report can be read in full here.