Councillors to decide on £20.7m plan to redevelop city centre transport gateways

Plans for the £20m redevelopment of transport and travel in and around Leeds city centre are set to be discussed by council members on Wednesday 17 April.

At the council’s executive board, councillors will consider a report to progress plans to transform transport in the city centre into “world-class” gateways for bus users, pedestrians and cyclists, while continuing to provide access for businesses.

These proposals are part of Connecting Leeds, which is aiming to invest £270m in Leeds’ transport network.

The report highlights investment works of £20.7m to include; the Headrow, Westgate, Vicar Lane between the Headrow and North Street, New Briggate, Infirmary Street and Park Row, Cookridge Street and small lengths of streets linking these together.

The plans aim to improve bus reliability and ensure they can navigate easily through the city centre whilst improving the quality of the city centre by increasing public space, walking and cycling.

Last summer’s consultation feedback on the initial concepts for the City Centre Gateways scheme was positive. Around 76% of those who responded, supported the schemes. These proposals, now developed further, address bus service reliability, cycle safety, accessibility, pedestrian comfort and quality of the public realm.

Some bus stops would relocate to more suitable areas with wider footways for passengers to wait. Bus-only restrictions would look to create more space and extend to improve bus journey time reliability.

There’s also support for reducing car dominance in the city centre, improving facilities for bus passengers and enhancing the public realm.

By improving bus reliability, the city centre schemes will help increase public transport use, in line with the council’s target of doubling the number of bus users in ten years.

The Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme of £270m funds the schemes which will also improve local air quality and promote active travel.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This multi-million pound investment will see huge improvements for public transport reliability, reducing delays and giving buses priority to get easily through the city centre.

“They will also enhance the ability for people to move about the city by foot or by bike. There’s been some really good initial feedback to these proposals, which include the added benefit of creating more attractive and improved public spaces.”

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