In a bid to enhance cycling and pedestrian connectivity throughout Leeds city centre, Sovereign Street has been transformed into a one-way thoroughfare.

Commencing on Thursday, January 4, the project entails the implementation of a west-to-east one-way system along the entire stretch of Sovereign Street, extending from Neville Street towards Swinegate.

This strategic move facilitates the creation of a dedicated two-way cycle track on the opposite side of Sovereign Street. Concurrently, the upgrade of traffic lights at the Sovereign Street and Neville Street junction is underway.

To facilitate these improvements, a provisional one-way system has been temporarily imposed. Upon completion of the project in April, Sovereign Street will be permanently converted into a one-way route.

Throughout the duration of the construction, businesses and residents will retain access, with measures in place to minimize disruptions.

Leeds City Council spearheads this initiative as part of an overarching plan for cycling and walking enhancements, in collaboration with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The proposed modifications aim to integrate adjacent cycling and walking projects, such as the Sustainable Travel Gateway scheme at Leeds City Station. By creating a cohesive network, the objective is to enable safe and convenient travel in and around the city centre without reliance on private cars.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, said: “These improvements will mark another positive step forward in our efforts to provide a better-connected city which is more easily accessible for people using more sustainable methods of transport.

“As with all our works in the city centre, we aim to keep disruption to a minimum and would always encourage motorists in particular to plan their journeys in advance to avoid being affected by the road closure.”

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “This investment in Leeds city centre is just one of the ways we’re working together to make West Yorkshire a better place to live and work.

“Changing our travel habits is about having access to different options.

“A reliable and inclusive transport network, which puts cycling and walking at the heart of our everyday lives, is key to our plans for a stronger and better-connected region.”

The comprehensive scheme is being executed through the Combined Authority’s Transforming Cities Fund programme, aimed at simplifying walking, cycling, and public transport usage for the populace.