Work to start on Leeds city centre's Infirmary Street & Park Row

Work will speed up bus services and make them more reliable and punctual

30 January 2020

Major works on Infirmary Street and Park Row in Leeds city centre to speed up bus services and make them more reliable and punctual get underway in February.

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

Bus lane to reduce delays

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

As well as improving bus journeys, this scheme will mean wider pavements Park Row and Infirmary Street and more attractive public space with new trees. Making Infirmary Street a two-way route will help prepare for future proposals to remove through-traffic from City Square making it an extended public space for pedestrians and cyclists.

Temporary and permanent changes

Carrying out this work to achieve these improvements will mean temporary and permanent changes to the location of bus stops and the services that call at them.

Owing to work starting on Infirmary Street, from Sunday February 23, some services and stop will be affected.

Initial enabling works will be carried out by Yorkshire Water at the end of January. Due to the nature of these works, Yorkshire Water will be carrying these out during the night to minimise any disruption. The noisiest activities will be carried out first to ensure residents experience as little impact as possible.

Investing tens of millions

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.

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

Improvements to reliability

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.”

Predictable journey times

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.

“We’re pleased to see this project underway and continue to be a committed partner

Connecting Leeds

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 a dn will see the regeneration of Westgate, Vicar Lane between North Street, New Briggate and Cookridge Street.

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.