Major Headrow scheme set to pave the way for city centre re-opening: Cookridge St Image

08 Apr 2021

Major Headrow scheme set to pave the way for city centre re-opening

Transport Connecting Leeds Best city Climate change Clean air/air quality

After 18 months of construction, a multi-million pound Connecting Leeds scheme which is set to transform one of the city’s busiest streets is close to completion as work to resurface the road starts.

The Headrow scheme, once complete in May, aims to give people more appealing alternatives to the car by making bus services quicker and more reliable. Plus it will ensure that journeys on foot and by bike are more convenient, attractive and safer. The overall vision is to create easier connections between bus and rail services and safer, greener and less vehicle dominated areas which will work towards achieving Leeds City Council’s Climate Emergency 2030 net zero carbon target.

The resurfacing work which will start in April is one of the final tasks ahead of completion in mid-May. There will be a series of full weekend closures at various sections of the road.

The dates of these are:

  • Friday 23 April 8pm – Monday 26 April 5.30am: Headrow - Vicar Lane junction to Park Row junction
  • Friday 30 April 8pm – Monday 3 May 5.30am: Headrow – Park Row junction to Westgate
  • Friday 7 May 8pm – Monday 10 May 5.30am: Vicar Lane and New York Road junction

For bus route diversions, visit 

The council have worked with hospitality businesses across the city as they prepare to welcome back customers from Monday 12 April. Our contractors, John Sisk & Son working closely with the council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and bus operators have worked to rejig their programme and much of the work in key areas is expected to be complete just in time to allow businesses to re-open and create outside dining. These areas will also benefit from new, wider pavements, more trees and new kerbing.

Work will continue around and in front of the Corn Exchange gateway and public realm schemes to complete by spring 2022. 

Leeds City Council's chief officer for highways and transportation, Gary Bartlett said:

“In summer 2019, Connecting Leeds started works to transform the city centre with construction on a number of major projects across the city including the Headrow. After almost two years, it’s really pleasing to see the works coming to an end and the improved environments for all visitors to the city centre.

“The scale of these works has been huge, with new paving and kerb lines, widened pavements, new trees, cycling lanes and bus shelters – along with safer road crossings.

“I would like to thank our partners and all the teams involved; the last 12 months in particular have been very challenging but work has continued throughout. There has been some excellent work in recent weeks in terms of accelerating works to allow businesses to safely re-open on 12 April. There is still much work to do to transform the space around the Corn Exchange and improving bus routes and public realm in the area, so our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this but we’re making good progress.”

LeedsBID’s Chief Executive, Andrew Cooper said:

“Investment in the public realm is paramount in making Leeds city centre an attractive place for investors, residents, visitors and businesses.  The Headrow scheme has continued during lockdown and it’s pleasing to see new trees, new wider pavements and a landscape that encourages you to dwell and not just be a thoroughfare. As businesses on the Headrow re-open and we welcome people back to Leeds, the changes to this area of the city demonstrate the transformative nature of what can be achieved.”

Dave Hill, regional director at John Sisk & Son said:

“Our teams have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and it’s thanks to their dedication and ‘can-do’ attitude that the paving work will be complete on schedule. We’re very proud of the end result and people returning to the city will feel the benefits for years to come”.

For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team