£173.5m public transport scheme to move forward

A Leeds firm has been assigned to move forward the plans for £173.5m public transport projects in the city.

WSP will develop concepts by the council as part of the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme; setting out how the Government-allocated £173.5m, which is earmarked for public transport projects in the city, should be spent.

Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) submitted a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) to the DfT to secure the funding which was approved in April 2017.

The £173.5m is expected to be supplemented with private sector investment worth around £100m. The DfT has stated that schemes to be delivered from the £173.5m must be substantially complete by 2020/21.

WSP will provide a range of consultancy and engineering services to ensure the programme is developed and delivered on time. These include scheme identification and selection; feasibility and preliminary design and supporting the council’s Leeds transport strategy team on the detailed engagement with the public and stakeholders on the emerging scheme proposals.

The team will put together an outline business case submission and offer project and programme support and planning application submissions where required, for:

  • Significant bus network improvements across five key corridors including the A61/A639 South; A61 North: A660; A58 North East corridor and A647
  • Creating 21st century ‘gateways’ in the city centre via new transport interchanges including Vicar Lane, The Headrow and Infirmary Street and measures to improve bus transit through the city centre.

WSP’s commission will contribute to the overall programme which also contains major proposals:

  • A new Leeds High Frequency Bus Network with over 90% of core bus services that will run every 10 minutes between 7am and 8pm
  • Additional investment by First Group to provide 284 new, environmentally clean buses with free wi-fi and contact-less payments which will achieve close to a 90% reduction in NOx emissions by 2020
  • 2000 additional park and ride spaces with the first new site opening at Stourton
  • 1,000 additional bus stops provided with real time information

Adrian Hames, director at WSP: “This is a significant win for WSP as it brings together public and private sector clients to deliver a major infrastructure project. We will harness our experience on a range of transport schemes, which includes our role as delivery partner on the TfGM Metrolink extension, and our detailed local knowledge to support the council throughout the lifecycle of the project from advisory through to delivery.”

“In light of the Transport Secretary’s recent call to action for the North to ‘take control’ of transport improvements, this is a great example of Leeds taking the lead to deliver a major step change in the quality of its public transport system. It will also play a vital role in better connecting the city in advance of other major infrastructure upgrades across the North including HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.”


Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said: “ Bus travel has a key role to play in our ambitious new Leeds transport strategy, and we have set the target of doubling bus passenger numbers in Leeds in the next 10 years which is achievable if we all work together to deliver the best public transport network possible.”

LCC will appoint a deliver partner by spring 2018.




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