Plans to create a new joint service managing all traffic signalling in West Yorkshire will be considered at a meeting next week by senior councillors in Leeds.
A proposal to merge together existing traffic management services into a single system run from Leeds will be discussed by Leeds City Council’s executive board at its meeting at Civic Hall on Wednesday 17 October.
Currently Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees and Wakefield all operate their own traffic signalling management services, with Calderdale’s service being managed by Leeds City Council. Under the proposal all these services would combine into a single West Yorkshire Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) service for the region, based at the West Yorkshire Joint Services building in Morley.
The new service would be responsible for the development, operation and maintenance of all traffic signal systems in West Yorkshire, working within Leeds City Council as the host local authority.
The benefits of the proposal would be to offer a more resilient and efficient centralised service, as well as investing in and developing new and emerging smart traffic management signalling technologies.
The new service would be created using £7.3m of capital funds from the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund together with existing funding to include investing in new system infrastructure, and is predicted to deliver benefits of £28.5m based on improved and more reliable journey times.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Fund has been part-funded through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government funding to drive growth and job creation across the Leeds City Region. The aim is to create around 20,000 new jobs and add £2.4 billion a year to the economy by the mid-2030s.
Leaders and chief executives of all the local authorities have discussed and support the proposals, so the process is now at the stage of formally progressing arrangements to establish the service. This includes staffing arrangements, with discussions underway for existing staff from across all of the local authority areas to be migrated into the new service.
If approved, the planned implementation date for the new joint service is autumn 2019.
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“Merging four identical services into one stronger cohesive unit makes perfect sense not only as local authorities but most importantly for all road users. The benefits offered by combining resources in an upgraded centralised system are significant, and this gives us the potential to go beyond that with the West Yorkshire UTMC potentially becoming a centre of excellence making the most of the latest in smart and adaptive technologies.
“A lot of the details still need to be finalised so we are mindful of that but this proposal is ready to now be progressed and established.”
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