Leeds City Council’s executive board are to meet tomorrow to discuss proposals for the next stage of the CityConnect cycle superhighway. A successful bid for Cycling City Ambition funding secured £6.5m to begin what is being branded CityConnect2.
The original CityConnect delivered just over 14km of segregated cycle route from Leeds city centre along the A647 to the new Broadway shopping centre in the centre of Bradford.
It was recently announced that more than 100,000 trips have been made on it since it opened in June last year.
ITV reports that another 10km of segregated cycle lanes will be added for CityConnect2. If approved by the executive board, work will begin in June.
Development would be carried out in phases as funding becomes available, beginning with an extension of the cycle superhighway from Leeds city centre to Elland Road and then on to south Leeds and Morley.
Subsequent phases would provide additional sections to create a complete ‘loop’ around Leeds city centre, followed by additional segregated superhighway from the city centre south-east to access South Bank and the new education hub.
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Richard Lewis, said:
“These plans form part of our long-term transport strategy to make it easier to get around the city. We know that there is no quick-win but it is important we invest now in order to encourage safe cycling and walking and the wide range of benefits these would bring, including reducing congestion and ultimately improving air quality across the city, now and in the future.
“CityConnect2 along with other improvements to the city’s cycling infrastructure will help address many of the concerns raised during the recent transport conversation, which attracted over 8000 replies, which highlighted that many people would like to cycle more, but felt that the biggest barrier is a lack of good infrastructure.
“A lot has been learned from the issues which arose during the construction of the first part of the cycle superhighway which will help guide the next phases as the project continues to develop.”
CityConnect is not without its critics, however. The cycle route is just 75cm wide in places, while campaigners say that it gives way at too many side streets, potentially putting cyclists at risk.
In May 2015, CityConnect acknowledged that some of its plans may were misinterpreted and promised to review the work.