Further to Minute No. 104, 16 December 2020, the Director of City Development submitted a report presenting the ‘Connecting Leeds’ Transport Strategy, Executive Summary and associated Action Plan for 2021-24 which set out the vision for Leeds’ transport provision and infrastructure during that period. Specifically, the report sought the Board’s approval for the adoption and publication of those documents following the extensive consultation and engagement exercise which had been undertaken during 2021.
In considering the report, Members discussed a range of issues, including:-
- The associated consultation process which had been undertaken, the range of actions within that and the level of response received;
- The ambitious nature of the strategy and its deliverability in the timeframes presented;
- The range of net zero carbon emission targets nationally, regionally and for Leeds, together with ongoing national transportation discussions, and the delivery of the strategy alongside such matters;
- The timing of the strategy and the need for action to be taken at the earliest opportunity;
- The need to ensure that the strategy reflected people’s adapted ways of living and working as a result of the pandemic, and the importance for the strategy to understand and provide for the bespoke needs of each community across the city. Also, Members received further information on the intention for the Council to continue to engage with communities on such matters;
- Members paid tribute to the work of the Highways and Transportation services for the work they continued to undertake in challenging circumstances. Members also discussed the capacity of the relevant services within the Council to deliver the aims of the strategy and the actions being taken where possible to increase such capacity;
- The importance for all partners, businesses and members of the community to fully engage with the aims of the strategy, in order to ensure that the required ‘step change’ was made;
- The Board discussed the impact of road works, with further detail being provided on the logistical considerations given to such works, the range of reasons why they were required, often in restricted timeframes, and the approach taken to co-ordinate such works and minimise impact wherever possible.
(a) That the adoption and publication of the ‘Connecting Leeds’ Transport Strategy and first Action Plan 2021-24, as appended to the submitted report, be agreed;
(b) That an annual progress report on the Strategy and Action Plan be submitted to the Board at the appropriate time;
(c) That agreement be given for the Director of City Development alongside the Chief Officer (Highways and Transportation) to lead on implementing the delivery of the ‘Connecting Leeds’ Transport Strategy and Action Plan;
(d) That it be noted that the future Action Plans beyond 2024 will require greater levels of funding to achieve the targets as set out within the ‘Connecting Leeds’ Transport Strategy.