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Leeds council bosses meet to discuss £6.5m CityConnect2 plans

10km of segregated cycle lanes planned

Leeds City Council’s executive board are to meet tomorrow to discuss proposals for the next stage of the CityConnect cycle superhighway. A successful bid for Cycling City Ambition funding secured £6.5m to begin what is being branded CityConnect2.

The original CityConnect delivered just over 14km of segregated cycle route from Leeds city centre along the A647 to the new Broadway shopping centre in the centre of Bradford.

It was recently announced that more than 100,000 trips have been made on it since it opened in June last year.

ITV reports that another 10km of segregated cycle lanes will be added for CityConnect2. If approved by the executive board, work will begin in June.

Development would be carried out in phases as funding becomes available, beginning with an extension of the cycle superhighway from Leeds city centre to Elland Road and then on to south Leeds and Morley.

Subsequent phases would provide additional sections to create a complete ‘loop’ around Leeds city centre, followed by additional segregated superhighway from the city centre south-east to access South Bank and the new education hub.

Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Richard Lewis, said:

“These plans form part of our long-term transport strategy to make it easier to get around the city. We know that there is no quick-win but it is important we invest now in order to encourage safe cycling and walking and the wide range of benefits these would bring, including reducing congestion and ultimately improving air quality across the city, now and in the future.

“CityConnect2 along with other improvements to the city’s cycling infrastructure will help address many of the concerns raised during the recent transport conversation, which attracted over 8000 replies, which highlighted that many people would like to cycle more, but felt that the biggest barrier is a lack of good infrastructure.

“A lot has been learned from the issues which arose during the construction of the first part of the cycle superhighway which will help guide the next phases as the project continues to develop.”

CityConnect is not without its critics, however. The cycle route is just 75cm wide in places, while campaigners say that it gives way at too many side streets, potentially putting cyclists at risk.

In May 2015, CityConnect acknowledged that some of its plans may were misinterpreted and promised to review the work.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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severs1966 | 7 years ago

"CityConnect delivered just over 14km of segregated cycle route from Leeds city centre"

No, it delivered a partially segregated route that gives up quite a long distance from the city centre.

And what it delivered was many kilometres short of what was promised. The council are now discussing whether to build something that was already promised, consulted on, funded and then dropped.

Get John Stevenson to write the CityConnect articles. He's from Leeds and rode there for years (he used to work in the city centre); he knows the layout of the city.

the little onion | 7 years ago

Yes, what is now being called City Connect 2 was actually part of the original plans. But due to massive delays they re-labelled the original plans into City Connect 1 and 2, so that they could say that they had completed City Connect 1, when it was only half the project. And it presently doesn't go to leeds City Centre, but an industrial estate about a mile outside of it. 


The whole thing is an absolute omnishambles. And like Redfish points out, the amount of effort that has gone into PR vastly outweighs that which has gone into design. Indeed, 10% of the project budget is on marketing and PR, which is the only bit that hasn't seen any cutbacks or downgrading.

RedfishUK | 7 years ago

 I don't want to be pedantic but

The original CityConnect delivered just over 14km of segregated cycle route from Leeds city centre along the A647 to the new Broadway shopping centre in the centre of Bradford.

Is not correct the original plan was to deliver a cycle route from Bradford, through Leeds City Centre to Seacroft (about 7 miles to the East of Leeds)

So only just over half of this has been delivered. The stretch from the City Centre to Seacroft is being built apparently - but never seems to materialise. (The connecting bit across the city centre seems to have been dropped completely)

They did also deliver about 9 miles of Towpath upgrade from Kirkstall to Shipley, but this is really shared leisure cycling rather than a commuting route - although it is popular if you have a hybrid type bike as the surfaces are not tarmac.

It's infuriating that CityConnect seem more interested in thePR side of things and next bid than actually delivery.

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