Leeds City Station Entrance Improvements
Martin Stanley and Hannah Kent attended on behalf of Leeds Cycling Campaign. Colin Noble and John Barber were also in attendance on behalf of Sustrans.
Leeds City Council were in attendance along with Atkins, who are the designers of the scheme.
Funding is from the Transforming Cities Fund which is also funding 22 other transport projects across the Leeds City Region. This funding has been applied for but has yet to be awarded. An announcement is expected in March, with a planning application made in mid-March.
Due to the city of culture celebrations in March 2023, if funding is awarded construction will begin this year with a planned completion date of end of 2022.
Plan is to pedestrianise new station street. (Deliveries will be allowed to businesses at certain times). Cycling will be allowed, except directly outside the main entrance to the station.
The taxi rank will be moved to Bishopgate Street, with new lifts and steps leading from new station street to Bishopgate Street. Traffic on Bishopgate street will be one lane only and will be limited to Hackney Carriages and Buses.
The cycle parking facility will be approximately 700 spaces and will be privately run, although owned by network rail. Showers, lockers, bike repair facilities, and a café are included.
The width of Neville Street will be reduced to two lanes, with a bidirectional cycleway being provided in the space gained. This will pass directly in front of the cycle parking facility.
Our comments regarding the proposals are as follows
- Access must be 24hr, and there must be a sliding scale of memberships, ranging from just cycle parking to full use of the facilities. Ad-hoc usage must also be provided for. We questioned whether these stipulations could be added as planning conditions.
- Two tier cycle racks are proposed, we stated that the top tier must be power assisted to allow use for heavier bikes and for all people whatever their strength. Adequate locking facilities must also be provided.
- Parking should also be provided of tricycles, recumbents, trailers, and cargo bikes.
- We questioned the decision to have the taxi rank closer than the bus stops (which will be on Boar Lane). We were informed that this was primarily due to requests from accessibility groups, however we are still concerned that this placement will encourage taxi use over bus use.
- There was a long discussion about the cycle facilities on Bishopgate Street, crossing facilities etc. No conclusions were reached, however this will need to be looked at during detailed design.
- There is limited scope to expand the cycle parking facility if required, so options will need to be looked at as part of future developments linked with HS2
Overall it was a very positive meeting with the scheme having the potential to significantly increase the quality of both cycle routes to the station, and the cycle parking at it. The closure of City Square to all traffic (except cycles) as part of a future scheme will also deliver huge benefits.
The initial public consultation is ongoing and can be accessed here https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/LCS
You may wish to replicate some of our above comments and/or add your own.