Leeds City Centre is set to undergo significant changes in terms of vehicular movement, as construction work commences to implement a new 24-hour East Parade bus gate.

This new bus gate, scheduled to become operational on 19 June, is part of a larger initiative by Leeds City Council to prioritize pedestrians and enhance the overall urban experience.

Starting on 15 May, extensive works will be undertaken to convert a section of East Parade into a two-way traffic route. In addition, Calverley Street will be transformed from a northbound one-way street to a two-way thoroughfare. It is important to note that motorists will not be able to access The Headrow when travelling southbound on Calverley Street.

These modifications are integral to the Leeds City Council’s broader vision of reimagining City Square as a pedestrian-friendly environment, thereby diverting general through traffic away from the city centre. The upcoming phase will enable construction in the immediate vicinity of the Queens Hotel, where a new pick-up and drop-off facility with limited access will be established. The project is expected to be completed by August.

According to a council spokesperson, “The introduction of the 24-hour East Parade bus gate is a significant step towards improving the flow of public transport in Leeds City Centre. By redirecting general through traffic, we aim to create a safer and more enjoyable environment for pedestrians. These changes align with our long-term vision of building a people-first city.”

Commenting on the modifications to Calverley Street, a local resident stated, “The conversion to a two-way street will undoubtedly improve traffic efficiency in the area. It will also make it more convenient for residents and visitors to navigate the city centre.”

As construction work commences, commuters and residents are advised to stay updated on the latest traffic arrangements and plan their journeys accordingly. The Leeds City Council remains committed to minimizing disruption during this transformative process and ensuring the smooth implementation of the new changes.

With these initiatives, Leeds is poised to redefine its urban landscape, placing pedestrians at the heart of its vision for a vibrant and accessible city centre.

This final phase will see:

East Parade to have a new 24-hour bus gate (South Parade junction), coming into effect from 19 June. Only buses, hackney carriages, bicycles and emergency vehicles will be able to access the East Parade bus gate. Work will also include changing a section of East Parade to make it two-way (from Bedford Street) to allow diverted motor vehicles to exit the city centre more easily.

Infirmary Street bus gate will be reinstated. Only buses, hackney carriages, bicycles, and emergency services will be able to access the Infirmary Street bus gate.

Calverley Street will change from one-way northbound to two-way. Because of the existing left and right banned turn movements from the Headrow, and the new bus gate at the top of East Parade, only buses, hackney carriages, bicycles, and emergency services will be able to access Calverley Street from its junction with the Headrow. The new two-way operation will allow access to Calverley Street, Alexander Street and the Town Hall to general traffic via a right turn from Great George Street.

Delivery access arrangements will change. Deliveries will need to come in from Wellington Street through the traffic lights and do a three-point turn at Little King Street and head back out the way they came in between 19 May and WC 12 June. After this, they will then be able to come up Aire Street northbound.

The Queens Hotel will have a pick-up and drop-off area created within City Square for limited access only managed by the Queens and the council. This will mark the completion of works in August.