Leeds City Council has started to implement new social distancing measures to support cycling and walking, to protect public health across the city.
As part of the council’s response to Covid-19 and the government lifting some restrictions, the council is taking action to help the public stay safe when walking or cycling.
In phase two, from today (Tuesday 26 May) the local centres of Otley, Chapel Allerton, Armley and Morley, will see social distancing signs and approximately 550 metres of barriers installed.
These measures will be to temporarily extend pathways to enable social distancing so that people can safely access local shops and centres or pass by those queuing to enter shops. These measures are being introduced following consultation with local ward councillors. The locations are:
Otley – Kirkgate and Boroughgate (100-metre barriers)
Chapel Allerton – along the A61 Harrogate Road (150-metre barriers)
Armley – along Branch Road (100 metre barriers)
Morley – Albion Street (100-metre barriers)
The first phase of social distancing measures was introduced earlier this month in Leeds city centre. Temporary pavement widening has taken place at locations including Mill Hill, Call Lane, New York Street, Upper Briggate, St Paul’s Street and Great George Street. Which is in addition to the permanent schemes underway on The Headrow and Park Row and the pedestrianisation of Greek Street and Cookridge Street.
Over the coming weeks, phase three will see social distancing measures rolled out to all the remaining local centres. In addition, new narrow bridge crossing signs are also being created to warn and prompt people to keep left when walking to cross over narrow bridges.
The council has also launched an interactive website to share details of planned measures and to enable residents to have their say. This is to improve social distancing and active travel, on main roads, in local neighbourhoods and around schools. Residents can give their views by visiting https://leedscovidsuggestascheme.commonplace.is.
Many residents have commented on the benefit of seeing less traffic on our roads during the lockdown and there has been a significant reduction in air pollution and an increase in people walking and cycling.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, said:
“It is essential for us to support people to safely get out and about on foot in their town centres and neighbourhoods. Wider footways will make it possible for people to safely access workplaces if they cannot work from home or schools for those children who are returning to their school setting, for exercise and to make essential journeys to other facilities like food shops or pharmacies.
“As the government continues to announce further plans to ease out of the lockdown, we’re prioritising action locally to promote walking and cycling. These measures will not only enable people to move around safely now but will contribute to a sustained lowering of our carbon footprint, help to maintain improvements in air quality and improve the health of our residents for the longer term.
“We are also keen to hear from the public and welcome Leeds residents ideas and suggestions on ways to make areas around schools, main roads and neighbourhoods safer for walking and cycling. You can make suggestions on this link: https://leedscovidsuggestascheme.commonplace.is.”