New date and time for Infirmary street improvement works drop-in event

Between 3pm and 6pm at Aspire on Tuesday 25 February

Bus users in Leeds city centre are being reminded that stops and services will be affected as a major scheme to improve Infirmary Street gets underway from Monday 24 February.

Part of the Leeds City Council’s £270 million Connecting Leeds programme, the scheme will see Infirmary Street becoming two-way for buses and cycles. There will be bus stops in lay-bys along both sides, the central bus stop island will be removed, and a new pedestrian crossing installed.

This will mean changes to some stops and services on Infirmary Street, which will be introduced on Sunday 23 February.

Details of how services are affected can be found on West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Metro travel information website.

Notices about the changes have been posted on the affected stops and there will be messages on the yournextbus real-time displays.

Drop-in event

To help people find out more about the scheme a drop-in event, with members of the team on hand to answer questions, is being held from 3pm and 6pm on Tuesday 25 February in the Statement Suite at Aspire on Infirmary Street.

This event was due to take place on Thursday 20 February but had to be postponed because of Leeds city centre street closures and building evacuations due to a suspicious package in the Queen Street area.

There will be displays of the how the scheme will look, and how it will improve bus travel, cycling and walking and creating wider pavements and more attractive public space with new trees.

Later in the scheme, the nearby Park Row will become one-way, southbound, with new stretches of bus lane to reduce delays, and stops relocated together at its southern end.

Call for better local public transport

When the start date for the work was announced, Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “People regularly call for better local public transport in Leeds and through these Connecting Leeds schemes on Infirmary Street and Park Row, the work already underway on The Headrow and forthcoming works at the Corn Exchange and Armley Gyratory, we are investing tens of millions of pounds on doing just that.

“All these improvements are designed to support the increased use of buses by making them more reliable and punctual and to support our work to tackle climate change by easing congestion.

“Owing to the way this work is funded by the Department for Transport, there will be some disruption in the short term to gain these permanent long-term benefits.

“We are fully aware of the need to keep the city moving while at the same time carrying out these important improvements, Combined Authority officers are working with Leeds City Council colleagues to mitigate and minimise the impact on how bus services are affected by traffic.

“I would like to thank people in Leeds for their patience while this vital work is carried out.”

Reliability

At the same time, Executive board member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, Councillor Lisa Mulherin said: “It is great to see that these plans are finally coming in to force and I am looking forward to seeing the improvements to public transport reliability which the scheme will allow.

“While the works are completed, inevitably there will be some disruption for bus users, drivers, residents and people visiting the city centre. But like in the works on the Headrow, we will continue to work with our partners to limit this as much as we can.

“It is important to us that the public are kept up to date with what is going on and we will endeavour to keep them informed by providing regular updates, particularly on factors such as relocation of bus stops and road closures.

“We would like to thank everyone from bus drivers and cyclists to pedestrians and bus users for their ongoing patience while we carry out these essential works to transform our city centre. We envision the short-term inconvenience will be well worth the long term benefits the scheme will bring to public transport, space and clean air within the city centre.”

Bus priority

Paul Matthews, Managing Director of First West Yorkshire, said:

“These latest improvements will enable us to move more people, more easily and more quickly to where they need to be, when they need to be.

“Bus priority is vital in making Leeds a smart city where public transport works for everyone as it allows us to develop timetables that give customers predictable journey times throughout the day.

Connecting Leeds, the long-term transport strategy for Leeds, aims to improve all aspects of transport and travel in the city and connect people to the wider Leeds City Region. The Connecting Leeds programme will see unprecedented £270 million invested in the city’s transport network.

The Infirmary Street and Park Row scheme is in addition to the £20.7 million Connecting Leeds project, which started in September on The Headrow and will see the regeneration of Westgate, Vicar Lane between North Street, New Briggate and Cookridge Street.

Details of how services are affected can be found on West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Metro travel information website.