Construction on the first stage of a project to create an additional 10 kilometres of segregated cycle lanes in Leeds could get underway this summer.
Leeds City Council's agreement to invest £6.5 million on further improvements to the city’s cycling infrastructure will add to the existing 14.5km Cycle Superhighway, connecting Leeds and Bradford.
Extra 3.5km in Leeds
Stage One of the plan will see 3.5km of new routes running along:
- Wellington Street to City Square
- From Queen Street to Westgate
- From Leeds Bridge into the South Bank
- From north to south along the line of St Peter’s Street, and
- East to west along the line of Kirkgate, York Street and Marsh Lane.
The new routes will introduce junction designs to accommodate cyclists, segregated cycle crossings, cycle track bypassing of bus stops, cycling priority on side roads and clear signage. There will also be improvements to pedestrian crossing facilities and enhanced public spaces.
"Improving access to our thriving city"
West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Chair Cllr Keith Wakefield said: “These routes will improving access to our thriving city centre by bike and make it easier and faster to move around the city by bike for residents and visitors alike. One important element is the link to the city huge South Bank plans, which will enable students attending the new education hub by bike.
“The approval of the funding means we can now progress the project to procurement stage, which means construction could start this summer."
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said: “These plans form part of our long-term transport strategy to make it easier to get around the city. We know that there is no quick-win but it is important we invest now in order to encourage safe cycling and walking and the wide range of benefits these would bring, including reducing congestion and ultimately improving air quality across the city, now and in the future.
“CityConnect along with other improvements to the city’s cycling infrastructure will help address many of the concerns raised during the recent transport conversation, which attracted over 8000 replies, which highlighted that many people would like to cycle more, but felt that the biggest barrier is a lack of good infrastructure."
Part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, CityConnect promotes safe and efficient cycling, including the use of lanes segregated from general traffic. Working with a panel of independent experts CityConnect oversaw the development of the 14.5km Cycle Superhighway connecting Bradford and Leeds, on which over 100,000 trips have been made safely since it opened in June 2016.
The majority of the funding for CityConnect has come from the Department for Transport and West Yorkshire Combined Authority to invest in improving cycling and walking infrastructure.