Major improvements to Leeds City Rail Station’s main entrance and surrounding area begin next week – and visitors are being encouraged to consider how these changes will affect their journey to and from the station.

From today (Wednesday 10 May), short-stay car parking at the station will move to the multi-storey car park.

From 7pm on Thursday 18 May, taxis will move from their current location on New Station Street to Princes Square (off Aire Street) in the short-stay car park, next to Wetherspoons.

From midnight on Friday 19 May, the northern section of New Station Street, from the station’s main entrance towards City Square, will close to pedestrians to allow works to be carried out.

Pedestrians will be able to walk towards Boar Lane from the station’s main entrance by travelling along the other side of New Station Street.

To access City Square, Infirmary Street, Park Row and Wellington Street, pedestrians are advised to use the station’s northern entrance (opposite the Majestic building).

Pedestrians walking to the south bank area of the city can do so by following New Station Street onto Boar Lane and looping back onto Mill Hill, or by using the station’s southern entrance (open between 6am and 10pm).

The changes come as works start on the Leeds Station Sustainable Travel Gateway scheme, which will create a much improved and more people-friendly environment that can accommodate growing rail passenger numbers and ensure people can enter and exit the station safely.

The £46.1 million scheme is being delivered by Leeds City Council on behalf of Network Rail as the landowner, and in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. Advance works and preparations have been underway since last May with the project now moving into the next phase, which is due to be completed in September 2025.

At the same time, the closure of New Station Street is necessary to allow Network Rail to carry out essential maintenance work to reinforce the Mill Goit underground structure beneath the street which supports much of the station above it.

Delivering the two schemes in tandem will lead to less disruption in the long-term and provide value for money, as there will be less need to revisit the Sustainable Travel Gateway Scheme later if further works are required as part of Network Rail’s scheme.

 Plan ahead if driving to the station

Motorists travelling to the station are advised to plan ahead and allow more time for journeys.

Following the changes to roads around City Square, private vehicles can no longer drive to Princes Square from Bishopgate Street and along Wellington Street in front of the Queens Hotel. Any private vehicles travelling in this direction will pass through a bus gate and incur a fixed penalty notice.

Motorists travelling to the station should do so via the eastern end of Wellington Street before turning right onto Northern Street and left onto Whitehall Road which then becomes Aire Street.

Councillor Helen Hayden, executive member for infrastructure and climate, said: “These works will transform the area into a more attractive gateway to our city which meets the current and future needs of Leeds and everyone that uses the station, and alongside City Square will provide a cleaner and safer pedestrian environment.

“We understand that changes of this scale will cause disruption and people may need time to adjust to them. We encourage people to consider how these changes may affect their journeys and to plan ahead to keep any disruption to a minimum.”

Maxine Joicey, Station Customer Experience Manager, said: “These two crucial projects to further enhance Leeds Station are great news for the city. We’re working closely with our partners, in particularly Leeds City Council, to make sure the relocation of the taxis to Princes Square will be clearly communicated both in the station and online to passengers, businesses and the general public so that planning journeys to and from the station remain as simple and smooth as possible.”

The Sustainable Travel Gateway scheme is being delivered through the Combined Authority’s Transforming Cities Fund programme, which is aimed at making it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport.

Maps and advice to help people with their journeys can be found at https://leedscitystation.commonplace.is/