Measures to boost links to the South Bank agreed by executive board

Plans to improve transport links to the South Bank area of the city have been given the green light by senior councillors this week.

As part of a report which was submitted to Leeds City Council’s executive board, members backed a number of new public realm and cycling and public transport initiatives, which will play a key role in boosting footfall to the area and supporting the city centre economy. Clarence Dock which is now known as Leeds Dock has experienced a number of issues in both sustaining visitor numbers and attracting new businesses to the area in the past. New Leeds Dock owners Allied London are now moving forward with a series of proposals to create a vibrant self-sustaining destination for leisure visitors, workers and residents, which includes working with the council to see how connectivity to the South Bank can be improved.

Developed in partnership between Leeds City Council and Allied London, plans include the introduction of a ‘City Bus’ from the rail station, a water taxi service and improved cycle routes from Leeds Railway Station to Leeds Bridge by extending facilities into the South Bank. Bicycle storage and car sharing initiatives will also be undertaken as part of the multi-million pound project.

Allied London has offered to support the council in the funding of these measures by meeting the majority of the costs of the transport proposals and contributing £94k towards the cost of public realm improvements.

Following approval by the executive board, further work will now be undertaken to finalise details of the scheme.

For a full copy of the executive report, please see: http://democracy.leeds.gov.uk/documents/s123783/South%20Bank%20Cover%20Report%20071114.pdf

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for transport and the economy said:

"The regeneration of the South Bank is an important part of our future city centre vision, and as part of this work, a range of proposals have been developed with Allied London to improve transport and connectivity links to the area, which I think we would all agree are not where they need to be at the moment.

"As part of our plan, we would like to move forward with Allied London, on the introduction of a new low-fare shuttle bus and public realm enhancements, including new cycling infrastructure from the rail station to Leeds Bridge, which will sit side a range of future bicycle storage and car sharing initiatives.

"I am pleased that the executive board have supported the proposals in this report, which I believe are vital if we are to encourage and drive the local economy forward in the city centre and in particular the South Bank area."

Michael Ingall, chief executive of Allied London, said:

"These new sustainable transport and connectivity initiatives are vital to support the continued regeneration of Leeds’ South Bank, to encourage start-ups and established businesses to locate to this important part of the city and to make it easier to get here from the railway station.

"Already our water taxis, which have been running for free between Granary Wharf and Leeds Dock since the summer, are seeing upwards of 2,500 users per month, and we will be continuing this service into 2015 to encourage visitors to the markets and events we have planned.

"Now we have been given approval by members of the executive board, we are looking forward to working with the council on the introduction of these important infrastructure enhancements over the coming months."

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk