Work on East Leeds Orbital Route underway
5 October 2018
Work on the £16 million Stages 1 and 2 of the the East Leeds Orbital Route is underway.
Funded through the Combined Authority's West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, the scheme's first two stages, Outer Ring Road Junction Improvements on the A61 corridor and at the Roundhay Park Lane Junction will be carried out by Balfour Beatty. Phase three of the scheme is forecast to start in late 2019, subject to statutory approvals.
East Leeds Orbital Route will provide the infrastructure to match growing traffic numbers and the predicted additional demand resulting from the 5,000 new houses scheduled to be built as part of the East Leeds Extension. It will also include dedicated cycleways, pedestrian and equestrian pathways, as well as specially designed access points to improve access to surrounding areas. There will also be significant investment in planting of green areas and sustainable water management solutions along the route which will improve drainage, provide environmental benefits and enhance to the look and feel of the route.
At a formal launch of the work this week, Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning, said: "The East Leeds Orbital Route is the biggest infrastructure project undertaken by Leeds City Council for 50 years, since the completion of the Leeds Inner Ring Road.
"This scheme will ease congestion in existing residential areas across Cross Gates, Seacroft, Whitkirk and also play a key role in the growth plans for the city for years to come. We have listened carefully to the voices of local communities and stakeholders to make sure the plans for ELOR reflect the needs and aspirations of those who will be impacted by the development."
Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority's transport committee, said: "The East Leeds Orbital Route is an excellent example of the significant support the Combined Authority is providing to key City Region infrastructure projects through our West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund.
"We have already approved over £145.23 million of investment through the Transport Fund on schemes designed to support inclusive growth, job creation and the construction of new homes."
The Combined Authority's 'West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund'. The Fund is part of the Leeds City Region Growth Deal, a £1 billion package of Government investment through the Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) that will accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region. Keen to accelerate Transport Fund schemes, the Combined Authority entered into discussions with the European Investment Bank. The European Investment Bank is Europe's long-term lending institution owned directly by the 28 EU member states which, in recent years, has financed crucial water, transport, energy, education and social housing investment across Yorkshire.
Accelerating growth and creating jobs
In May a £100 million flexible facility over five years to fund specific eligible Transport Fund schemes was approved and Jonathan Taylor who is Vice President of the Bank, which over the last decade has provided £7.8 billion for cycle, bus, rail, maritime and air transport investment in the UK, attended this week's launch.
Mr Taylor said: "New investment in sustainable local transport is crucial to reduce journey times, cut carbon emissions and benefit local communities. The European Investment Bank backs cutting-edge transport projects around the world and we are pleased to provide £100 million to improve and expand transport links across West Yorkshire in the coming years.
"The East Leeds Orbital Route will tackle traffic bottleneck around Leeds, improve local air quality and encourage biodiversity. This impressive scheme is a credit to West Yorkshire and provides a model for sustainable urban investment in forward thinking cities elsewhere."
Rob Lockwood, Project Manager for Balfour Beatty, said: "We are encouraging anyone interested in finding out more about the scheme to visit us and to visit the website to see how work is progressing. We have huge experience of delivering large projects and understand that on occasion they may cause some inconvenience. That is why we want to let people know what plans are and how the work is progressing so they can plan their transport appropriately and help us minimise any disruption. We know that the sooner we are aware of any issues, the more quickly we can try to deal with them."