This East Leeds Link (ELL) road scheme has been developed to enable access to key economic development sites in the Aire Valley Leeds regeneration area as well as providing traffic relief to large densely populated areas of east Leeds. An increase in funding from the Department for Transport was secured in December 2005 for the scheme which connects the inner ring road stages 6 and 7, at South Accommodation Road, with the M1 at junction 45. The inner ring road stage 7 has recently been completed, this includes a direct link onto the southbound M621. The ELL and stage 7 provide a more better link between the M1 (north) and the M621 which has been missing since the opening of the A1-M1 link.
The works included the construction of approximately 3.9km of dual 7.3m carriageway, with five major intermediate junctions and terminal connections to the existing highway network. Three of the major junctions are roundabouts and the remaining two are controlled by traffic signals. Peak period tidal high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes have been incorporated into the scheme, in order not to increase the peak period radial capacity above that required to accommodate traffic accessing the development sites.
The M1 junction 45 roundabout has been signalised and opened to traffic. At the western end of the scheme a new bridge, approximately 13.5m wide, has been constructed over the Hunslet branch railway line to carry the westbound (inbound) traffic and the existing bridge, of similar width, has been re-decked to carry the eastbound (outbound) traffic.
The scheme involved the construction of 9 retaining walls, with a retained height of up to 4 metres, and the construction of 3 culverts (1 for Wyke Beck and 2 at Bellwood roundabout) on existing watercourses.
Street lighting has been provided throughout.
Every effort has been made to provide an environmentally friendly design, through minimising the amount of earthworks import and disposal, by reprocessing and re-using materials within the site. A sustainable drainage (SUDS) approach has been adopted for ELL in order that the peak drainage flows from the road do not exceed the current run off from the Pontefract Lane corridor. This involves the construction of a balancing pond, installing balancing tanks under the road and the use of granular drains for water storage.
The Department for Transport has contributed £14.8 million towards the scheme with the remainder of the funding provided by the City Council through an agreement with Yorkshire Forward and three private landowners.
HOV or 2+ Lane
The East Leeds Link includes lanes for high occupancy vehicles (HOVs) and goods vehicles 7.5 tonnes or over. These lanes operate at peak periods – inbound (to the city) from 7 – 10 am and outbound (to M1 Junction 45) from 4 – 7 pm.
During these hours the lanes can only be used by
- cars or vans with two or more occupants (including taxis and private hire vehicles with two or more occupants)
- buses / coaches
- pedal cycles / motorcycles
- emergency vehicles
- all goods vehicles with two or more occupants
- all goods vehicles 7.5T or over with one or more occupant
The lanes will be enforced by the police, normally by issuing fixed penalty tickets to drivers who use the HOV (2+) lane illegally.
You can download more information in the pdf 2+ lane leaflet - A63 only from below. Alternatively there is a leaflet 2+ lane leaflet which covers all the HOV lanes in West Yorkshire.
The new road and M1 junction 45 opened to traffic on the 10th February 2009, including the M1 junction 45. The opening coincided with the commencement of an experimental closure of Pontefract Lane to the east of junction 45 (adjacent to the Biffa landfill site), which restricts access to permit holders only. This closure is being enforced by West Yorkshire police and is controlled by traffic signals, and signs stating permit holders only, However, it is illegal to pass though without a valid permit.
The new road between the M1 junction 45 and Thornes Farm Roundabout (Motor auctions site) is subject to a speed limit of 40 mph. The remainder of the new road is subject to a speed limit of 30mph. These speed limits are being enforced by the West Yorkshire Police
By clicking on the Downloads section below, you may download the following -
- Plan of the scheme
- Frequently asked questions
- 2+ lane leaflet - A63 only
- 2+ lane leaflet
- Plan showing ELL and inner ring road connections to the south east road network