Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “Through our CityConnect programme, we have invested significantly to enable more people to travel by bike and on foot, which will be crucial to meeting the transport challenge created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These important schemes will provide communities in Beeston, Holbeck and Hunslet, as well as those in the north of the city, with high-quality cycling and walking routes and the Dewsbury Road scheme will provide an important missing link in the existing network to create a continuous 4.4km segregated route for south Leeds.
“By 2027, we are aiming to increase the number of trips people in our region make on bike by 300%. This will not only boost people’s health and save them money, it will also help us to achieve our aim of being a net zero carbon economy by 2038 at the latest.”
In addition to infrastructure investment, the Combined Authority is working with partner councils to make more road space available to people travelling by bike and on foot.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development, said: “During these difficult times, we’re working hard to make walking and cycling more attractive and natural everyday choices for exercising and commuting.
“We’re delighted we are bringing the construction phase of these schemes forward for new segregated cycle routes south of the city connecting Beeston, Holbeck, Hunslet and the city centre, as well as important work on Clay Pit Lane and Meanwood Road. Every new piece of segregated cycleway in Leeds gets us nearer to the 500 miles of cycle network we are aiming to deliver across the city.
“In this Covid-19 recovery phase, Leeds is creating many more new routes which offer improved safety for people who walk and cycle, offering convenience and championing health and wellbeing for our residents. Alongside improved segregated cycleways the scheme will improve the environment for pedestrians. This work funded through CityConnect will improve environmental sustainability, better air quality and reduce pollution of all types in and around Leeds. We look forward to seeing the schemes completed later this year.”
The safety of the public and staff will be a priority throughout the construction work and steps will be taken to ensure compliance with social distancing measures on site. Workplace policies will be kept under review to reflect the latest government guidance.
This project received £6.5m from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal - a £1billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
This work will build on CityConnect’s Leeds Bradford Cycle Superhighway, which opened in 2016, as well as the additional 4km of segregated routes that opened last summer connecting the eastern and western sections of the cycle superhighway with the city centre.
It also plays a significant part of Leeds City Council Connecting Leeds “Cycling Starts Here” ambition to create 500 miles of safer cycling routes across the city.
A public consultation on these schemes, including drop-in events at community venues, was held last summer.