Engineering consultants WSP is supporting Leeds City Council with two key Park & Ride planning applications this month, as part of the “Connecting Leeds” Public Transport Investment Programme.
WSP, with two offices in Leeds, is Development Partner for the bus infrastructure elements of the Connecting Leeds Programme. Its Transport Team has worked on a range of feasibility studies, taking them through to preliminary design and submission of outline business cases, ultimately leading to the imminent submission of the planning applications.
As part of the ambitious programme, the two major Park & Ride schemes due before planners are: the new Stourton Park & Ride to the south of the city, and the Elland Road Park & Ride extension. Around £125m of the budget has been earmarked for bus infrastructure improvements.
The Stourton Park & Ride will be served by zero emission electric buses helping thousands of commuters lower their carbon footprint and contribute towards LCC’s commitment to reducing air pollution in line with Government and EU targets. The Stourton site will also be supported by several miles of new bus lanes and cycle lanes which will benefit the wider community.
“We have worked closely with LCC to design a scheme which delivers extensive landscaping and new, direct footpaths and cycle links to the local community,” said WSP transport director Simon Pope.
“LCC is also working to secure funding from the European Regional Development Fund to deliver solar panel car ports across the Stourton site. These will be used to power the site itself including free electric charging points for cars – another huge boost for providing cleaner energy options for commuters.”
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Coun Richard Lewis, said: “Park and ride is an important part of our Connecting Leeds programme, helping to make our transport network as fast, efficient, reliable, accessible and green as we can.
“I welcome the progression to the next stage of planning for the park and ride schemes. They mark the first of up to £40 million investment which is set aside for increasing our park and ride capacity.
“The idea behind the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme and the Connecting Leeds strategy is for continuous improvements to be carried out across our transport network to make a real and meaningful difference for everyone travelling in our city and better connectivity with the wider region.”
Across to the west of the city, the existing Elland Road Park & Ride site has proven highly successful with over 95 per cent of users saying they would recommend the service to a friend.
New plans to expand this site will deliver a further 550 new spaces served by ultra-low emission state-of-the-art buses. Both schemes are being funded and developed in collaboration with bus operators and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, with further financial contributions from the Department for Transport and developers’ Section 106 commitments.
Simon Pope said: “WSP’s remit has expanded and evolved over the past 6 months and the team is now undertaking a technical assurance role, overseeing and supporting the appointed delivery partners to the next phase of development as the schemes go to planning.
“The WSP Transport Team has also been supported by other planning, design, business case, environmental and consultation experts within the business – offering significant resource to a project that will bring tangible transport benefits to Leeds and its residents for decades to come.”