Like buses, Leeds Consultations come along together. No sooner is the site allocations out of the way, but we have the Airport Link Road to think about – still the positive side is that people will be in the ‘consultation groove’, and what else have you got to do at the end of December !!
The A65 link road is currently a phase 1 project (phase 1 = delivery by 2021) in the West Yorkshire Transport Fund (WY+TF) investment plan. This integrated transport plan underpins the Strategic Economic Plan that was approved by the Government in July 2014, as part of the Northern Powerhouse Growth Deal. In other words, if you want economic growth, you have to have joined up transport that gets people where they want to go efficiently.
The 30-33 projects on the WY+TF have received around £800m of Government funding which will be made up to £1.4bn with local investment. This has similarities to the funding model of the successful Transport for London modus operandi that has delivered a sea change in the Capital – as we recently heard from Sir Peter Hendy – ex London Commissioner for Transport, and now Network Rail Fixer. What it doesn’t have is the Yorkshire equivalent of Boris.
So, LCC is currently preparing a Gateway 1 report on the investment case and funding for the link road, of which this is the public consultation. (Growth Deal investment projects have to go through a series of gateways – this is supposed to ensure value for money and value add.)
How is the road to be funded? It should be the WY+TF but that seems to have issues if you follow WYCA Minutes. However, suggestions should be made in the Gateway 1 report when it appears next year.
Here are the details, direct from Leeds City Council’s email.
“This is the initial public consultation on the A65 – Airport – A658 Link Road. It will run from Monday 23rd November 2015 to 26th February 2016. Leeds City Council are seeking views on three options to improve access to the airport. Improving surface access to the airport has been identified as a key need to support its future growth as well as tackling existing congestion and traffic issues in the local road network.”
Note- the road has been identified as a West Yorkshire Combined Authority key investment project for their Northerpowerhouse economic plan, it has not been identified as a key need to tackle existing congestion on the local road network – that has not been proved, and in essence is what the consultation is for.
” Details of the three proposed options for initial consideration, a map and supporting information can be seen at www.leeds.gov.uk/AirportLinkRoad. An online questionnaire will be made available on this page from Monday 23rd November, when the public consultation period begins.”
“As part of the consultation, public drop-in sessions will take place as follows:
• Leeds Civic Hall, Calverley Street, Leeds, LS1 1UR, Tuesday 24th November 3-8pm
• Horsforth Mechanics Institute, Town Street, Horsforth, LS18 5BL, Wednesday 25th November 1-4.30pm
• Horsforth St. Margaret’s Parish Centre, Church Lane, LS18 5LA, Friday 27th November 3-8pm
• Rawdon Greenacre Hall, New Road Side, LS19 6AS, Saturday 28th November 12noon – 3pm
Further venues added in December
– Wednesday 13 January, Yeadon Library & One Stop Centre, 3-6:30pm
– Thursday 14 January, Pool Village Hall, 1:30-4:30pm
– Friday 15 January, The Grove Methodist Church, Horsforth, 3-7pm
– Monday 18 January, Leonardo Building, 11am-2pm
– Wednesday 20 January, Bramhope Methodist Church, 2-5pm”
“Other local events are currently being arranged, and further details will be publicised once these are finalised.
In addition, a stall will be at the airport from November 23rd to 29th and leaflets and copies of the questionnaire will also be available from local libraries and the Leeds Development Enquiry Centre in the Leonardo Building, Rossington Street.”
Department of Transport Connectivity Report, November 2014
There is an interesting, Connectivity Report, from November 2014, sponsored by the Department of Transport, that looks at the different options for surface transport links to the airport.
In this report, the A65 link road scored highly for return on investment, especially in the short term, whilst the rail link from Guiseley or Horsforth was less beneficial and recommended for the longer term. The report also mentions the option of small amounts of development along the road as an option.
Also a recent report on the A65 between Rawdon and Horsforth done for the Site Allocations section 3