Opinion: Hooked on tackling healthy travel across South Leeds?

Does south Leeds have a good bus service? Middleton’s councillors have raised concerns

Community reporter Andy Brown has sent us this post on cycling and public transport in South Leeds:

I couldn’t help ponder what Morley’s cycle racing legend Beryl Burton would’ve made of new guidance from the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE). Unheralded in her 60s & 70s heyday but now set for re-discovery after featuring in a Radio 4 drama, I reckon she’d have chuckled at NICE’s modest  vision of walking and cycling  for short journeys

Amid news too of bus user numbers declining in Leeds  what does this heartily herald for South Leeds car-free commuting possibilities?

I’ve been making the daily journey by bike from home in LS8 to Tenants Hall in Middleton since mid September. And with winter looming I’m still optimistically committed to keep on cycling despite the descent of cold winds, rain and the probable onset of ice and snow.

Despite the 12/13 bus offering an apparently convenient connection between Roundhay – Middleton I’ve  taken the option only a few times.

Apart from the hefty peak cost of a First Bus day rider, I can cover the eight-mile journey a good ten minutes quicker by bike .Valuing being in control of my own destiny; stop offs have even included home time forays into Hunslet’s splendidly under visited gem, the Garden Gate.

Admittedly time spent tidying up over a sink or showering at journey’s end does somewhat even out the advantage
Leeds Council’s sustainable transport department has coincidentally relocated to LS10. Their Middleton-Leeds centre cycle route is a useful starting guide although I use it selectively.

In particular I avoid the recommended wooded areas of Middleton Park in favour of the quieter, faster, better lit, mud-free backstreets of LS10. Middleton Park Avenue’s wide pavement however does offer the sort of  pedestrian space-sharing more commonly seen in Northern Europe than across Leeds.

Servicing options locally are available at the laudably-diversifying AJ Fishing Tackle (“pike your bike here sir ?… “) Combining rod, reel or ride repairs you can even stock up on pet food supplies while you wait…
For now though I won’t be holding on with baited breath for other cycle shops to pop up in the area, with the two-wheel revolution perhaps some way off emerging in South Leeds

One Reply to “Opinion: Hooked on tackling healthy travel across South Leeds?”

  1. Very interesting article, Andy. You’ve almost persuaded me to get back on my pedal bike as opposed to my motorbike!

    I can see lots of advantages particularly if (a) it’s not raining and (b) there’s somewhere safe to leave the bike. When I was in London recently I saw someone carrying a strange bit of metal around until i realised it was their saddle and connecting tube!

    Perhaps the Council need to be encouraged to have a couple of covered bike parks with CCTV in the city centre?

    Thanks for the link to the Garden Gate. As someone who feels he’s in a foreign country if I cross to the other side of the M621 it’s not a pub I am familiar with so I will have to go on a reccy! Perhaps, on my bike?!

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