The Leeds Riverside Safety Working Group was established following a number of tragic deaths within the City Centre stretch of the River Aire. The group is a multi-disciplinary team with members from Leeds City Council, Canal & River Trust, Aire Action Leeds, West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire Service, the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University Student Unions.
We want people to be able to use and enjoy the Leeds waterfront, but reduce risks where possible and raise awareness to vulnerable groups. The principal aims of the group are to monitor incidents and try to identify any patterns or issues, educate users of the riverside area, and work with landowners to find ways in which to make the waterfront across Leeds City Centre an accessible, yet safer place.
Leeds City Council design team have worked with members of the group to produce a Handrail Design Guide as supporting information for landowners. The aim of the document is to provide guidance to landowners and developers of where handrails are necessary, and the appropriate types of railings for these areas.
The involvement of the University's Student Unions, Leeds Council City Centre Community Safety and City Centre Management Team and City Centre Pub-watch has brought a focus on education and awareness.
The group has delivered the river safety message at Freshers` Week and worked closely with Police in their operation ‘Walk safe’ to get out this message to the student population. A flier has been distributed to hundreds of student halls in the city and information was conveyed in Freshers` Week by the group's representatives, available from the 'Downloads' section on this page.
For further information the group can be contacted by emailing Riverside.Safety.Working.Group@leeds.gov.uk