Leeds & West Yorkshire

Coronavirus: Leeds plans wider pavements and cycle lanes

Orca wands on cycle lane Image copyright Leeds City Council
Image caption Leeds City Council is to use 'Orca wands' to provide extra space for riders on some cycle lanes

A city council is to widen some pavements and cycle lanes to help with social distancing when coronavirus restrictions begin to ease.

Pavements on Mill Hill, Call Lane, New York Street, Upper Briggate, St Paul's Street and Great George Street in Leeds city centre will be altered.

On The Headrow, a 4m-wide pathway will be created for people to safely pass the construction works.

A temporary segregated cycle lane is also being introduced on the A65 road.

Leeds City Council said it was acting to "help the public stay safe when walking of cycling".

A section of the cycle lane on the A65 Kirkstall Road, a major commuter route in the city, is to be widened with the use of posts to give cyclists protection from traffic.

The reflective posts, also known as 'Orca Wands', are 1m high and strong enough to rebound from an impact with vehicles, the city council said.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Some pavements, including on New York Street, are to be widened to allow for social distancing measures

The council said the wands would be initially be installed temporarily as "they can be deployed much more quickly in the current circumstances than any more permanent changes to the highway".

Depending on how successful the posts are deemed to be they can either be kept in place for a longer period of time or removed and replaced with permanent protective measures along that road.

The council said its plans would be shared with the local councillors before being circulated to the public.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, said: "When the lockdown starts to ease, it's essential we can make it as safe as possible for people to get back out and about around the city and in their local neighbourhoods.

"Re-thinking road space to allow for wider footways will be essential for people accessing workplaces, schools and essential facilities, and these measures will play an important part in getting the city safely up and running again."

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