Updated designs of plans to transform The Headrow City Centre Gateway have been revealed this week.
Connecting Leeds is consulting on transport plans which cover an area of The Headrow, Park Row, Infirmary Street and several adjoining streets. These form part of delivering Leeds City Council’s transport strategy, working in partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority and transport stakeholders and providers in the city.
The aim is to improve bus reliability and ensure they can navigate easily through the city centre. It will also enhance the quality of the city centre by creating new public spaces and improving walking and cycling provision.
Last summer’s feedback on the initial concepts for the City Centre Gateways were positive. Around 76 percent of those who responded supported The Headrow scheme. These proposals now further address bus service reliability, cycle safety, accessibility, pedestrian comfort and quality of the public realm based on the feedback received.
Some bus stops will be relocated to better areas with wider footways for passengers to wait. Bus-only restrictions will be put in place to create more space and be extended to improve bus journey time reliability. The proposals have also been informed by the council’s ‘Leeds Our Spaces Strategy’ which recently became available.
By improving bus reliability and punctuality, The Headrow City Centre Gateway scheme will help increase public transport use, in line with the council’s target of doubling the number of bus users in ten years. In addition the scheme will also improve local air quality and encourage active travel.
All these schemes are part of the £270m investment in improving the transport network in Leeds over the coming years. Local businesses, residents and general public can have their say online by visiting: www.Leeds.gov.uk/ConnectingLeeds until 12 April.
An event for local businesses to examine the new designs and plans will take place on Wednesday 20 March, at the Henry Moore Room, Leeds Gallery on The Headrow.
The plans cover a £20.7 million investment to improve the heart of the city centre with the work scheduled for autumn 2019. They include:
The Headrow at Victoria Gardens, near Leeds Town Hall and Leeds Art Gallery
The Headrow at St John’s Centre, Dortmund Square near The Core and Sainsbury.
Park Row near HSBC, Wetherspoons Beckett’s Bank and Cafe Nero.
Infirmary Street near Pret a Manger, The Box and Aspire.
New Briggate near Sports Direct, Home Sense and Leeds Grand Theatre.
Cookridge Street near Raddisson Blu, The Light and Leeds Cathedral.
Vicar Lane near The Old Red Bus Station, Travelodge, Zaap Thai.
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Councillor Richard Lewis, said:
“This multi-million pound investment in one of our key gateways in the city centre will see huge improvements around The Headrow and nearby streets. The Connecting Leeds scheme will allow for improvements to public transport reliability as well as air quality. There’s also the added benefit of creating more attractive and improved public realm, in line with our recently launched Leeds Our Spaces Strategy.”
When the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee backed development funding for the scheme in January, its Chair Councillor Peter Box said:
“This is a scheme designed to support economic growth that will benefit everyone, reduce carbon emissions, tackle congestion by encouraging the use of public transport and improving facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and provide a better overall environment for people working and visiting Leeds city centre.”
The vision set out for Connecting Leeds is to deliver a transformational step change in the transport network and connectivity in Leeds and the wider region, helping to support and bring people, places, jobs, learning and leisure closer together. This will be achieved through improvements to road, rail, bus, park and ride, cycling and walking services and infrastructure, reducing congestion and improving air quality and accessibility in Leeds along with utilising the latest technology innovations.
It has been developed from the feedback received in the biggest-ever transport conversation held with residents, businesses, stakeholders and visitors in the city which included more than 8,000 people taking part in a survey in 2016.
For more information go to www.leeds.gov.uk/connectingleeds or @ConnectingLeeds on twitter or through Leeds City Council’s Facebook page.