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03/07/2014

£4m cycle friendly Headrow redesign unveiled

Words: Sam Waddicor

Leeds City Council in conjunction with British Cycling has unveiled plans for a proposed redevelopment of Headrow, if backed by the government.

The £4 million vision has the potential to create a lasting legacy from Yorkshire hosting the Tour de France Grand Depart, according to the partnership.

Chris Boardman, the former Olympic gold medal winning cyclist, who is working as a policy advisor for British Cycling has called on the government to commit £10 a head per year to help kickstart cycling programmes across the country.

Boardman said: “Millions of people in Britain say they would like to cycle but they are put off due to safety fears. We cannot pretend that this is going to miraculously change. National government needs to face up to some hard truths and commit adequate investment. It’s important to clarify we are not asking for more money but for a tiny fraction of the existing provision to be targeted as part of a long-term plan to remodel our urban landscapes."

Plans for Headrow include the introduction of a 20mph speed limit, as well as remodelling of pavements to make them wider and the kerbs lower for better wheelchair and cycle access. There is also an idea to turn Headrow into more of a boulevard style street with trees and textured paving. Finally there are plans to close the road to cars with only taxis, buses and bikes allowed.

It is hoped that these changes will not only reduce motor traffic by 40 per cent but also treble the level of cycling whilst also reducing the number of injuries.

Leader of Leeds City Council, Keith Wakefield, said: “We are firmly committed to maximising every possible benefit from the city hosting the Tour de France.

“As we outlined in our legacy vision, we want to put cycling at the heart of the future of Leeds, building on our existing relationships with fantastic partners like British Cycling to bring about significant benefits in a range of areas such as health and wellbeing, transport, leisure, the environment and the economy.

“That is our long-term aim - to do everything we can to encourage and help as many people as possible to get cycling.”

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