We are encouraging members and supporters to respond to the city councils proposals for Armley Gyratory. The deadline is the end of Monday, 23rd September 2019
The proposals can be viewed at the following site.
You may wish to included some points listed below, it is also possible to 'like' others comments so please do take a look and select any that you agree with.
Leeds Cycling Campaign Response:
The arguments for increasing motor traffic flow throughout this junction is that it will allow the removal of motor traffic from areas of the city centre, thus allowing the pedestrianisation of areas such as city square.
We agree that the junction is currently very hostile for cyclists and pedestrians and should be improved to mean less delays for public transport users and better accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians.
It is with disappointment that we cannot support the plans in their current form. Despite plans being presented in multiple Cycle Forum Subgroups, with the earliest being in Feb 2018, it appears there has been minimal measures taken to address our constructive feedback.
In principle, the city council should be looking to reduce the amount of private motor traffic rather than accommodating the increase. By increasing the amount of private motor vehicles through the junction, it is likely that this will induce more demand and thus any short term benefits to users will soon be lost.
Improvements for public transport users are proposed by speeding up general traffic through the junction, thus buses are less likely to get stuck in queues. While this may be a solution in the short term, the principle of induced demand would suggest that unless the city council restrict private motor vehicles in the long term, the junction will again reach capacity and the benefits to public transport users will be lost. We would propose bus priority, both up to, and through the junction, to ensure that benefits for public transport users are retained in the long term.
The argument that improving traffic flow through the junction will improve air quality is questioned for the following reasons:
- With the introduction of the clean air zone the emissions produced by vehicles travelling through the junction will soon be reduced anyway.
- With people switching to electric and hybrid cars that produce no emissions when stationary, the effect of idling traffic on air pollution will be significantly reduced.
- What will be the effect of a 2 year construction period with associated congestion and disruption be on local air quality?
- Air quality (and congestion) could alternatively be improved by facilitating a switch to more efficient and less polluting modes such as cycling, walking or public transport.
Although cycling and walking facilities are certainly improved over the existing junction, it is our expectation that pedestrians and cyclist movements through the junction would be accommodated using quality, grade separated facilities such as those seen on similar large junctions in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, due to motor vehicle movements being prioritised, with the resulting junction footprint being set early on in the design process, there is no space for these quality grade separated facilities. For a £44 million scheme, we do not believe this is acceptable.
Critiquing the plans as presented:
- A 5m shared use footway is not acceptable. The cycling and pedestrian areas should be kerb separated and be a minimum of 3m wide for bidirectional cycling, and 2m wide for pedestrians. Dedicated cycle crossings should be provided.
- It is unclear what the wait times will be at the crossing points. Theses must be sequend to ensure minimal delays for cyclists and pedestrians.
- Cycle/pedestrian areas appear narrower at areas where it passes under the railway. Widths should be maintained, otherwise this creates dangerous pinch points.