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Published : 15/08/2012 00:00

Congestion busting bus scheme ready to go

New bus lanes forming part of a major new scheme to improve bus journeys along the A65, one of the busiest commuter routes in Leeds, have opened today.
 
The improvements to the A65 between Kirkstall Lane and the Inner Ring Road, will help to ease congestion and make journeys to and from the city centre quicker and easier, particularly during the morning and evening rush hours.
 
Construction work to provide a high standard bus service on the heavily congested route into Leeds city centre started in April 2010.  And although inclement weather earlier in the year led to some delays, having a full night shift running for most of July has enabled the improved A65 to be completed on budget and on time.
 
Work will continue until early September to fully complete the project, with lane closures in operation at night, but only minor delays are expected.  The improved A65 will be officially opened by Norman Baker MP (Under-Secretary of State for Transport) on Wednesday 12 September.
 
The improvements include:
 4km of new dedicated bus lane covering inbound and outbound journeys
 Six additional pedestrian crossings making the roads safer and linking communities
 11 new bus shelters with real time travel information (by mid September)
 Provision for cyclists to use the new lane and enjoy a safer and easier ride
 New buses from the London 2012 Olympics, with low level access (arriving October) 
 
Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member responsible for the economy and development said:
"I am delighted that the A65 Quality Bus Scheme is now completed and ready to be opened.  It is the result of years of planning and hard work and will really make a positive difference to commuter traffic coming in and going out of the city along one of the most congested routes.

“This scheme is undoubtedly one of the most significant transport improvements in Leeds in the past several years.  It will bring a massive boost to the transport system in Leeds, vastly improving bus journey times and reducing congestion around the city centre.

"The scheme has been exceptionally managed and it is a great credit to everyone involved that it has been completed within the agreed time  programme and within budget."

Ends
Additional info
This is a partnership scheme involving Leeds City Council, Metro and bus operators First, Transdev and Centrebus.  It is funded centrally through finance secured from the Department for Transport.

Leeds City Council was awarded grant funding of almost £20m by the Department for Transport to construct the improved A65.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk