Next phase of work is set to enhance city centre’s transport links

Senior councillors in Leeds will discuss an update on continuing work to transform transport and travel in and around the city centre at a meeting next week.

At the council’s Executive Board on 21 April they will consider a report progressing further plans to transform transport in the city centre.

The report presents plans to enable the closure of City Square at the end of 2022 in readiness for the Year of Culture in 2023, plus the preliminary designs for the Armley Gyratory highway scheme.

They support the creation of a world class public space and arrival gateway to the city centre for train, bus users, pedestrians and cyclists, while continuing to provide access for businesses.

And the report highlights that Leeds City Council is making major progress in the delivery of “people-first infrastructure” and public spaces across the city centre.

In the past three years, investment of around £200m has taken place in the city centre, including the Leeds Public Transport Improvement Programme (LPTIP) Connecting Leeds works, with more money being spent to support the 3.5 hectare green City Park, and the delivery of major Our Spaces schemes.

The Armley Gyratory improvement, together with Highways England’s scheme to improve the M621, is designed to enable road space in the city to be put to more positive uses.

The council has recently carried out consultation on the draft Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy.

It includes plans to make Leeds a city where people don’t need to own a car and promoting solutions intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Armley Gyratory and the City Square highway works are currently fully funded from the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund, with an allocation of £78.8m which is also delivering schemes on Infirmary Street Gateway/Park Row, Meadow Lane, and part-funding Regent Street bridge.

Martin Farrington, Leeds City Council’s director of city development, said: “We have made significant progress in recent years in transforming the quality of public realm in the city and making our public spaces far more people friendly.

“This momentum is expected to continue with schemes such as City Square and City Park being brought forward so the transformation underway can continue.”