To consider a report by the Director of City Development which draws to Members’ attention the details of the consultation on the draft Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy.
The Director of City Development, submitted a report which brought to the attention of Members’ details of the consultation on the draft Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy.
Addressing the report Finn Campbell, Team Leader (Forward Planning) and Paul Foster, Transport Planning Manager spoke in detail about the following:
Members noted the draft strategy sets out the proposed approach to transport policy for the whole city. Whilst the strategy was not spatially defined, policies and measures detailed in the document and subsequent action plans would cover the Outer North East Area.
Consultation on the Transport Strategy will be open until 11th April 2021. A copy of the Transport Strategy was appended to the submitted report and could also be found on the Leeds City Council web pages.
In the discussion that followed Members expressed the view that for residents living in urban areas (inside the ring road) the strategy may be acceptable, but for the outer areas, in particular the Outer North East Area, this strategy was not acceptable, this area had simply been ignored. The vision for the city was for a Mass Transit System, but the ONE area was being told to “make do with buses”
Members suggested that geographically, the outer north east area was one of the largest parts of the City. Bus travel was particularly difficult in the area, buses did not go to where they were required, travelling by bus from mid-day to 3.00pm was especially difficult, residents living in the area could not get to the major transports hubs and accessibility was a major issue. “We need to meet the needs of the people, not the geography”
In responding the Transport Planning Manager said the vision was a huge challenge, a viable transport system was required for the whole of Leeds, but it was accepted there would be differences in some of the outer areas. Members were informed that extending any mass transit system into the Outer North East area would be difficult, car usage in the area was high and providing a robust business case for funding such schemes was challenging, the most viable option for the ONE area was bus provision. The No.36 bus service (Leeds to Harrogate) was highlighted as a good example of buses operating in the outer areas.
In responding Members acknowledged the No.36 was a good service but this was only one route.
Members were informed that officers were working closely with bus providers to deliver mass transit, timescales and partners may be different but all were working to the same vision.
Commenting on the feedback received in respect of the ONE area, Members noted that only 68 people had responded to the draft consultation, 0.19% of the City Population, across the city only 3,500 responses had been received.
Members queried why the Leeds Transport Strategy was being brought forward at this time, suggesting that in a few weeks-time the election of a West Yorkshire Mayor was taking place and once elected the new Mayor could override Leeds Transport polices.
In responding the Transport Planning Manager said Leeds would still remain the Highway Authority. There was governance at West Yorkshire level, this strategy would set out the Leeds position.
In summing up the Chair said, the views of the Community Committee on the draft Leeds Transport Strategy were requested, those views had now been provided and officers had been left in no doubt that improved public transport connectivity/ infrastructure needs to be provided to the Outer North East area.
The Chair thanked officers for their attendance and contributions.
RESOLVED – To note the contents of the report.