A congestion-easing scheme to create safer and more reliable journeys on the M621 motorway is moving forward with a new junction and further improvements near Leeds United’s football stadium.
Towards the end of June, National Highways will permanently close the M621 junction 2a exit slip road, allowing the creation of the signalised junction and crossing between Cemetery Road and Elland Road. The entry slip road joining the M621 at Junction 2a will remain open.
This is the next stage of the major programme of work between junctions 1 and 7 of the M621. This will enable traffic to flow much more smoothly and safely, especially during peak times.
This phase has been planned to use the break in the football season to mitigate the impact on school and match day traffic.
Preparation works in the area will begin from Wednesday (31 May 2023), with temporary traffic lights at the junction of Elland Road and Cemetery Road.
Following the permanent closure of the Junction 2a exit slip road towards the end of June, there will be a full temporary closure of Elland Road south from Baron Close for around eight weeks while the main upgrade works for the signalised junction are carried out.
National Highways Senior Project Manager Sal Hopkinson said:
“The closure of the exit slip road follows extensive public consultations around the M621. People raised concerns around the amount of commuter traffic using junction 2a and surrounding local roads as a shortcut into the city.
“We took the concerns on board and developed this scheme to include additional improvements to Elland Road and Cemetery Road, creating a more resident-focussed community within this area.”
In December, National Highways began adding and widening lanes at the busy junction 2 near Elland Road. These improvements will provide extra room at the junction to help keep traffic moving and reduce queues, so drivers can get to their destination sooner.
Junction 2a was initially not planned to close until autumn this year, after the improvements to junction 2 were complete. However, due to the programme moving ahead of schedule, and restrictions needing to take place within the break in the football season, the work has been accelerated.
Upgrades to increase capacity on the Junction 2 westbound exit slip will be complete before the closure of J2a.
Work will be carried out during the night, and weekends. National Highways is working with delivery partner Keltbray and Leeds City Council to keep disruption to a minimum. During full closures, traffic will be diverted along routes that have been agreed with the local authority.
National Highways has worked closely with Leeds City Council on the closures of Elland Road and Cemetery Road.
“We’ve considered various options for carrying out this work and this is the safest and quickest way while causing the least disruption.
“While we’ll be working as much as possible during the day, there will be the need for some overnight road closures.
“We work in this way, as this is when traffic levels are lighter; however, due to it being quieter in the area, there may be some noise impact. We are however, looking to ensure that around residential areas we complete our most disruptive work as early as possible within the shifts.
“This is an activity we can only complete at night. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused. We will keep traffic flowing as much as possible while we carry out this essential improvement work.”
The M621 project will go on to create free flow links connecting the A643 at junction 2, as well as extra lane capacity at both junctions 2 and 7.
Additional technology is proposed along the length of the motorway to safely manage traffic in the event of an incident and to keep drivers better informed.
All planned closures are updated each week on the National Highways M621 improvement page, bit.ly/M621works where you can register to receive updates about the scheme.
This post is based on a press release issued by National Highways
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