Wyther Lane Bridge and Kirkstall Road set for new road safety measures

wyther lane bridge
Damaged: The Wyther Lane Bridge was damaged earlier this year. Photo: Paul Chatterton

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.

School streets

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.

Further information

The council report can be read in full here.


  1. Will our wonderful council then invest in advising the few cyclists that actually utilise the biggest ‘white elephant’ in the history of Leeds City Council as to how to use the cycle lanes and which way they should be cycling plus, what those big red, amber snd green things do……traffic lights to us law abiding car drivers! No wonder that the footfall in the city centre has dropped since this Council has decimated the major routes into our once thriving shopping centre.

  2. Leeds City Council wasting money yet again. They are proposing to widen the cycle lane along Kirkstall Road, thus slowing down traffic and creating yet more pollution, one week after signing off on housing plans that will bring at least 300 more cars directly into the area. Kirkstall is mere months away from being a car park – pretty soon traffic won’t be able to move at all, so cyclists and pedestrians will be safer than ever, aside from being choked to death by the pollution.

    Also, if people could just slow down and have some patience, like the other commenter said, Wyther Bridge wouldn’t need widening. This is just pandering to the infantilising culture we now live in. Walk slowly and carefully over the bridge for all of the 30 seconds it takes. If you’re on a bike then you shouldn’t be on the footpath anyway! (I appreciate that this is somehow a ‘controversial’ statement but it would be interesting to know exactly how much money has been wasted on cycle paths when cyclists simply use footpaths instead, a far more dangerous thing to foot pedestrians than crossing a bridge).

    • Hi Bramstall,
      Re wasting money: If you read the article it clearly states the money comes from government to West Yorkshire Combined Authority then to Leeds City Council.
      re Kirkstall Development: Perhaps you could tell me under which part of NATIONAL planning legislation and governance would you have refused that development (without leading to a costly appeal to the planning inspectorate by the developer)? Leeds council doesn’t live in a bubble, it has to adhere to national guidance.
      Thirdly, you talk abut ‘infantilising’ and then say: “Walk slowly and carefully over the bridge for all of the 30 seconds it takes. If you’re on a bike then you shouldn’t be on the footpath anyway!” I think you’ve missed the entire point. It’s motorists coming onto or too close to a very narrow path because they’re going too fast that’s the issue – not a pedestrian walking at 3 or 4 miles an hour!!!! And that area is incredibly difficult and dangerous to pass as a cyclist, if they don’t go on the narrow path, is it safe for them to go on an already narrow road? The answer is no, so something needs to be done.
      I’m a driver, as well as a pedestrian so do see both sides of it. But I read comments like this and I just wish some people could get beyond the selfish ‘me and my car, me and my car, me and my car,me and my car, me and my car, me and my car, me and my car…” etc etc etc…..
      Transport in this city needs to be transformed. Too many people are desperate to cling onto the 20th century.

      • Unfortunately Leonard, you have apparently missed the point entirely. My point is that I wish for LESS cars on the road, not more. I walk almost everywhere, and the level of pollution around Kirkstall is appalling.

        Where the money comes from is not my primary concern, wasting money in this climate is a concern no matter which pot it comes from. Creating yet more unused cycle lanes is generally agreed to be a complete and utter waste of money so I’m not sure what your point is regarding this.

        You appear to be saying that cyclists should indeed be allowed to ride on footpaths if they deem the road unsafe. This seems an utterly ludicrous situation. At that particular bridge, obviously only one vehicle can pass at once. If cyclists wait to pass in the same way as cars do, I can see absolutely no reason why crossing that bridge would be at all unsafe for them. As a pedestrian, I have crossed that bridge on foot numerous times and I have never felt unsafe on it – yes the road is narrow, but I have never seen a car ‘speed’ over it, it is simply too narrow to reach a dangerous speed across it.

        You state you wish people would move beyond ‘my car’ etc yet you have fundamentally missed the point that I have moved on from this and am actually arguing for less cars in Kirkstall, certainly not more. I can’t fathom how you have managed to miss this astoundingly clear point but hopefully stating it in extremely simple terms will clear this up for you. I am saying that accepting hundreds more houses and therefore hundreds more cars in the area will bring Kirkstall to a standstill and create not only havoc but yet more dangerous pollution for residents. Mix that with yet more unused cycle lanes which will slow down traffic even more and you have pretty much destroyed all the roads in Kirkstall and have polluted the entire populace.

        We do at least agree that Leeds needs a better transport system, perhaps the money that you say isn’t being wasted could have been put towards developing a transport system that actually works.

  3. Well said Phillip! Totally agree. It’s what I was thinking when I was reading this.
    Please don’t destroy more of Wyther Lane bridge, it just takes time and care to cross it that’s all, not the impatience that comes with most people these days.
    Some cyclists abuse our roads and pavements and have little thought for pedestrians. During this past year I have seen more cyclists recklessly jumping lights, and riding on pavements than I ever have. They have little regard for pedestrians and law abiding car drivers and little patience full stop.

    Whilst we should be encouraging walkers and cyclists can you spare a thought for those of us who live off the A65 and living with excessive pollution. It’s uncomfortable to walk on these major roads because of excessive levels of pollution and this will only be made worse by making traffic queue for longer at the ends of our roads or cut through our streets as they usually do at excessive speeds.

    The area around Wyther Lane and the A65 in Kirkstall has now become so built up with shopping centres and new housing developments it will soon come to a standstill. It’s too full and this cycle lane will make things ten times worse.

    It’s a fact most cyclists do not use the cycle lanes that have been built but use pavements instead. What’s the point.

    The council waste so much money to correct problems they have created. They have created a monster of a problem round here with excessive concentration of retail developments, housing, roads snd traffic signals and cycle lanes which are not fit for purpose and we have to live here surrounded by this chaos, snd then they waste more money trying to fan the flames of something they have created.


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