Ingram Road pupils benefit from Holbeck street improvement project

A street improvement scheme for residents in the Recreations area of Holbeck to live healthier, happier and better connected lives is making a difference.

Ingram Road Primary School pupils are using the changes to now help safely get to school, with a new pedestrian crossing installed outside their school. The crossing along with numerous other transformative improvements to the built environment has seen £900,000 spent.

The works included:

  • A new pedestrian school crossing
  • widening 14 sections of footpaths
  • enhancing green spaces with five new grassed areas
  • planting 28 trees
  • introducing traffic calming measures with ten through roads closed at one end and three one-way road systems created
  • building 425 metres of segregated cycle lanes in the residential area and connecting a piece of the city centre to Elland Rd cycle scheme.

The area is transformed by the changes covering a number of streets near Ingram Road Primary School, including Brown Lane East, Cleveleys Avenue and Crosby Road as well as the Recreations themselves.

The changes will mean a reduction in both car usage and air pollution, encouraging people living in the Recreations – which is one of the most deprived parts of Leeds – to lead more active lifestyles by getting out and about on foot or by bike.

The scheme is also designed to strengthen the area’s sense of community – and help break its pattern of short-term tenancies – by making the local streets safer and more attractive places for children to play and residents to spend time with each other.

In 2020, Ingram Road Primary School was one of the first to take part in Leeds School Streets. This initiative helps make roads outside schools into pedestrian and cyclist only zones, at specific times of day.

The school is still part of the scheme and these extra measures support making the roads safer, improve air quality, encourage more walking, scooting and cycling to and from school, and reduce school-related congestion.

In addition, the scheme gives people in the Recreations easier access to employment and education opportunities in the city centre by linking in with two major infrastructure projects – the Elland Road cycle superhighway and the recently completed Ingram Distributor cycling and walking route.

The project was also complemented by a programme of repairs and upgrades to hundreds of homes in the neighbourhood over the last five years, with more than £8.4m spent on measures such as the provision of new windows, roofs and doors and improved external wall insulation.

The Recreations works started in April 2022 and completed in September 2022.

Sarah Millard, headteacher, Ingram Road Primary School, said:

“The council engaged with the local community about the changes they could make to the area. They have listened to the outcomes, as residents wanted the traffic calmed, safer areas to play and greener areas – the scheme has delivered all of these. Parents really like the zebra crossing facility – they’d waited a long time for it and previously thought the road was dangerous to cross due to the width of the road and speeding vehicles.

“The pupils have commented they’ve liked being able to play safely in the streets which have been closed off to through traffic. The introduction of parking for parents/carers is better and the vast majority now keep clear of the zebra zigzags. And all the new trees planted make the area look softer – very much improved.”

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for infrastructure and sustainable development, said:

“I was hugely excited to visit the area as this scheme is a great example of our efforts to work to understand the issues that undermine the safety of Leeds’s roads and develop solutions to eliminate road deaths and serious injury.

“The residents and especially the children in the Recreations I know love the changes, with more greenery on their doorsteps and attractive new spaces where they can meet and interact with their neighbours. We want to give people of all ages an environment where they feel relaxed and happy about doing things – like walking and cycling – that will help their health and wellbeing.

“By reducing the dominance of motorised traffic in the area we’re moving towards making Leeds a city where you don’t need to use a car. This project highlights you can work together with residents by improving their streets to achieve mutual benefit. It supports our Leeds Vision Zero ambition that by 2040 no one will be killed or suffer serious injuries on Leeds roads.”

 

This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council

 

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