The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) will be using a planned £1bn West Yorkshire 'Plus' Transport Fund targeted at reducing congestion, improving the flow of freight and making it easier for people to commute to and from expected major growth areas. The Leeds City Centre Package is just one of several projects which Leeds City Council is developing in partnership with WYCA.
As a city Leeds has an ambition to be recognised as the Best City in the UK to live and work in, by 2030. This aspiration cuts across all aspects of the city’s life. In combination with a range of other transport and infrastructure investments by the local authorities, government and the private sector, the City Centre Package is dedicated to achieving the key steps needed to make the city centre ready for the next stages of development.
Leeds City Centre is the core centre for the Leeds City region, with over 100,000 people employed there, major retail, leisure and travel facilities and a growing resident population.
Over the next decade and beyond, the number of people working and living in the city centre is expected to rise significantly. There are proposals for an additional 11,300 dwellings in the city centre, as well as 660,000 sqm of new office space and the plans for high speed rail include the provision of a new station within Leeds City Centre for which construction is likely to start during the early part of the next decade.
Currently, the scale of highway infrastructure and associated traffic volumes results in high levels of congestion, severance and pollution particular in City Square and the South Bank. A significant proportion of traffic in these areas is through traffic, which uses the city centre as a short cut, rather than using the Inner Ring Road (IRR) / M621.
A package of interventions has therefore been developed to deliver the transformational change needed to meet the city’s aspirations to make a world class city gateway in City Square, to expand the city centre across the South Bank and facilitate the full potential of the expanded Leeds station.
The interventions are in three parts;
1. Improve the operation and capacity of the IRR and M621 to maximise the efficiency of the existing orbital network to accommodate the traffic which currently goes through the city centre. The City Centre Package will deliver the improvements on the Inner Ring Road including significant improvements at Armley Gyratory. This will be complementary to M621 proposals being developed by Highways England.
2. The City Centre Package offers the opportunity to transform City Square into a world class gateway. A significant reduction in traffic movements will reduce the severance effects and improve the connection for pedestrians between Leeds Station and the rest of the city centre. Bus routes will be altered to maintain public transport access within the area to ensure effective interchange with Leeds station.
3. A transformation of the road network within the South Bank to provide streets which complement the proposed adjacent land uses. This new road hierarchy will provide for local access, public transport priority, be pedestrian and cycle friendly, and be designed as a high quality people focussed urban realm; drawing upon best urban design practice from across the world.
The City Centre Project is working in partnership with the Leeds South Bank Masterplan which seeks to regenerate the southern area of Leeds City Centre. The Masterplan is currently out for consultation. For more information please visit the South Bank Leeds website.
We have prepared a leaflet which summarises our proposals, you can view this in the downloads section. You can tell us what you think about our plans by: