Leeds Transport Network ‘Near Breaking Point’

Once again, the Leeds transport system has been criticised for being at ‘near breaking point’, according to a spokesman from Leeds City Council. Traffic, especially in the city centre, continues to be a problem as weary residents have grown accustomed to the daily queues of cars which line the roads.

Traffic is a problem the council are trying to solve. £500 million has been invested into the South Bank project to expand roads in the South of the city in order to accommodate more traffic away from the centre. However, this is a long term project which will not ease traffic problems immediately. 

Map which details the the plans for the new pedestrianised zone in Leeds city centre. Source: Leeds Live

Furthermore, there are proposed policies to introduce electric double-decker bus trials and the Clean Air Charging Zones (CAZ) for electric cars. Whilst this will reduce air pollution, this will not solve the issue of traffic chaos in the city.

The spokeswoman of Leeds City Council said:

“These works once complete will make active and public transport a more desirable choice, reducing congestion and help address the Climate Emergency that we all face, as well as offering a better city environment for everyone to enjoy.”

The problems are not solely associated to car use but also to trains and cycling. There have been calls to modernise and expand train services so that they are more environmentally friendly and can relieve the stress on the roads. Meanwhile, there are scant cycling around the city centre, which only serves to encourage driving and worsen traffic.

In the context of the general election, local transport issues and the negative externalities associated with it like air pollution have been key issues talked about during the campaign trail. Labour, the SNP, and the Green party all promise to scrap train’s franchising system.

Instead, re-nationalisation will see trains come back under public ownership. There is no doubt that railway and transport issues in general will be a priority for Leeds’ next MP’s no matter who wins the general election.

Main image: Sky News