Major highways infrastructure scheme to ease congestion and help city grow

The biggest infrastructure project undertaken by Leeds City Council for 50 years, since the completion of the Leeds Inner Ring Road, is now fully complete.

This route will become the new outer ring road in northeast Leeds and is expected to ease congestion in existing residential areas across Cross Gates, Seacroft, Whitkirk and play a key role in the growth plans for the city for years to come.

It provides 7km of dual carriageway and 14km of dedicated cycleways, pedestrian, and equestrian pathways, as well as access points to improve connectivity to surrounding areas.

The completed route provides infrastructure to match growing traffic numbers and future requirements as the East Leeds Extension stretches around the edge of Red Hall, Whinmoor, Swarcliffe and Crossgates.

The extension allows for the development of up to 5,000 new homes and supporting infrastructure and plays a key role in the council’s ambition to deliver 52,000 more homes across the city by 2028.

Leader of the council, Councillor James Lewis, said: “The East Leeds Extension has been a major long-standing commitment to enable the sustainable growth of the city.

“The overall plan will create attractive new neighbourhoods integrated with surrounding local communities and provide parks and infrastructure that serve the needs of new and existing East Leeds residents.

“The new pathways and cycleways provide active travel infrastructure to better connect local communities and help make active, healthy travel options available to all as we work towards being carbon net zero by 2030.

“Now open, the East Leeds Orbital Route (ELOR) and the East Leeds Extension will improve connectivity, help regenerate the wider East Leeds area by boosting economic growth and bringing more jobs and homes to the area.”

Cllr Helen Hayden, executive member for infrastructure and climate, said: “A resource-efficient and connected city will be a better, healthier place to live, more competitive and better placed to ride out future economic and climate shocks.

“I know Leeds can continue to encourage more investment into our infrastructure and economy and retain being one of the best places to live in the United Kingdom.”

Leeds City Council worked with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to build the East Leeds Orbital Route.

It has been financed through the Combined Authority’s ‘West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund’, which is part of the Leeds City Region Growth Deal, a £1bn package of Government investment through The Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “Better transport links and connectivity provide people with greater opportunities and that is why we are investing in this across West Yorkshire.

“The East Leeds Orbital Route is an excellent example of how to reduce traffic and congestion while promoting active travel.”

Stephen Semple, area director at Balfour Beatty, added: “After three years of hard work, we are pleased the East Leeds Orbital Route is now open to traffic. The route will significantly improve journey times for the travelling public whilst also reducing congestion.”