From May 11 essential work will start on modernising the road, converting it into a one-way street for most of its length. This will make it easier for buses to use, by reducing the congestion issues on one of the key routes in the city centre, improving bus journey times and air quality.
The pavements will be widened for enhanced pedestrian use, and a safe, protected cycleway will be created along sections linking across The Headrow to Cookridge Street. Bus shelters will be upgraded and semi-mature trees will be planted. A short section of Park Row will remain two-way for access to Russell Street.
This work is the next phase of the £8.9million Infirmary Street scheme, being delivered as part of the Connecting Leeds strategy which is investing an unprecedented £270million in the transport network in the city.
Every precaution will be followed by contractor John Sisk & Son to ensure compliance with social distancing measures while the work is carried out.
The programme will see a central island on Park Row removed. This will take place on night shifts with the road closed. Night shifts will run from 7pm to 5am, Monday to Friday and this element is expected to take approximately two weeks to carry out.
The entire Park Row scheme is expected to be completed by winter this year.
Leeds City Council's executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, Councillor Lisa Mulherin, said:
“I’m pleased to see this scheme starting on the ground. It will deliver some fantastic benefits making Park Row a friendlier, people-focused environment with more space given over to pedestrians and cyclists. This will provide the links with the improved public realm on the Headrow when those works are complete and the pedestrian and cycling improvements on Cookridge Street, which will be closed to motorised traffic.
“There will be some disruption while these works are on-going, as there is with any major road scheme, not least for those living in the city centre. I would like to thank people for their ongoing patience while we transform Leeds city centre. Please be assured the long-term benefits will outweigh the short-term disruption.
“This scheme has been developed as part of our long-term ambitions to improve walking and cycling environments in Leeds city centre but its benefits will be felt even more keenly now given the experience we have all had during the current pandemic in particular the improved bus routes, wider pavements and cycling provisions.”
Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:
“The Connecting Leeds programme is delivering major improvements to transport across the city which will become even more important as we recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“These changes to Park Row will create a better environment for cyclists and pedestrians while improving the flow of traffic.”
To sign up for regular updates about these works, please visit https://www.leeds.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-travel/road-improvement-schemes/city-centre