Friday, 8 January 2010

Camera trial begins on high occupancy vehicle lane

Leeds will shortly see a three-day trial of a camera designed to count car occupants travelling along the Stanningley Road high occupancy vehicle lane.

The camera, referred to as ‘dtect’, is the culmination of a research project between Loughborough University and Leeds City Council. From 12 January for three days, the camera will be working beside the A647 Stanningley Road ‘two-plus’ lane which comes into Leeds from Bradford.

The aim of the research is to prove that the camera can accurately detect single occupant vehicles illegally using the two-plus lane. While these queue jumping drivers are comparatively few, they do impede car-sharers and buses and significantly delay responsible lone drivers. One of the aims of the trial is to confirm that the camera results are unaffected by the weather or the time of day.

As this work is part of a research project, the digital recordings will not be used to generate any fixed penalty notices and occupants will not be identifiable. The council and university will study the results of the trial to see whether the ‘dtect’ camera has a future in helping enforce Leeds’ HOV lanes.

The Stanningley Road HOV lane was first opened in 1998 when Leeds became the first council in the UK to open a priority lane for car sharing vehicles. The lane was also the first HOV scheme in Europe to be launched on an urban road and has been a big success.

Leeds opened two new HOV lanes on the East Leeds Link Road last February and the city’s two car sharing websites, carshareleeds.com and WYcarshare.com, are proving extremely popular with current car share membership now standing at 3,200.

Dave Gilson, head of transport policy at Leeds City Council said: “There are thousands of empty car seats in the vehicles travelling in and out of Leeds every day and drivers who use the HOV lanes are helping to fill these, taking more cars off our roads, freeing up congestion and helping to keep the city moving.

“There are, however, a few irresponsible single occupancy drivers who insist on using the two-plus lane, which undermines the benefits for genuine car sharers.

“The Stanningley Road camera trial will help us assess how we can enforce the HOV lanes and reduce the frustration felt by those who obey the ‘two plus’ lane rules. We look forward to seeing the results of this important research project.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. For further information on the camera visit www.vehicleoccupancy.com
2. For further information on the Leeds car share scheme, visit www.carshareleeds.com

Have your say on the future of girls only education in Leeds

Residents across Leeds are being asked to take part in a city-wide consultation to help decide the future of government funded girls only education.

Nine public consultation events will take place across the city to give everyone a chance to have their say. Anyone who feels strongly that it should be retained should respond to the consultation by Friday 5 March 2010.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
“This will be one of the biggest education consultations the city has ever seen and I encourage everyone who has an opinion to make sure they take part. This is an important opportunity for the whole city to comment on the proposals and help influence what decision is made.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“This consultation will run alongside discussions on the future of City of Leeds, Parklands Girls’ High School and Primrose High. It will be thorough and provide an opportunity for people to make their views known.

“We will welcome all views so that we can present a complete picture to the council’s executive board to make a final decision.”

The consultation runs until 5 March and there will be nine public meetings across the city, the details of which are:
North west: Ralph Thoresby High School, 7pm, Monday 11 January; east: Parklands Girls’ High School, 7pm, Monday 18 January 2010; West: Pudsey Civic Hall, 7pm, Wednesday 20 January 2010; South: South Leeds Academy, 7pm, Tuesday 26 January 2010; City centre: Civic Hall, 12noon and 7pm, Wednesday 27 January; North east (outer): Boston Spa School, 7pm, Monday 1 February 2010; Morley: Bruntcliffe High School, 7pm, Thursday 4 February 2010; North east: Allerton High School, 7pm, Tuesday 9 February 2010.

Information is also available by calling 0113 2475696 or at www.educationleeds.co.uk/schoolorganisation. All views will be summarised and presented to Leeds City Council’s executive board in April.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk

Consultation to take place on the future of Parklands, Primrose and City of Leeds

A consultation to discuss the future of three Leeds secondary schools has been approved by the city’s most senior councillors.

Leeds City Council’s executive board agreed this week for a formal consultation to take place to discuss the futures of City of Leeds, Primrose High School and Parklands Girls’ High School.

All three schools are included in the government’s National Challenge programme and changes are needed to make sure the 30 per cent GCSE target for 2011 is reached or maintained.

Education Leeds has proposed to establish an academy on the Parklands site, sponsored by Edutrust Academies Charitable Trust (EACT), which also sponsors the Leeds West Academy; to close City of Leeds as a school and consider the future use of the site for alternative educational purposes; and establish an academy on the Primrose site, sponsored by the Co-operative Group. If approved, these proposals will go ahead in 2011.

Parklands Girls’ High School’s GCSE results have already exceeded the national target this year but due to a declining roll and difficult financial situation present a challenge for sustaining progress beyond 2011.

City of Leeds and Primrose High School both face major challenges to improve teaching, attendance and behaviour standards and require urgent changes to meet the target.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:“Public opinion is a vital part of the decision making process. We recognise that major changes for the three schools have been proposed and want to fully engage with everyone connected to the schools to gather their opinions. This consultation will ensure that all views will be taken into consideration by the executive board before a final decision is made.”

Chris Edwards chief executive of Education Leeds, said:“We must ensure all our schools meet national standards for GCSE achievements. We have already seen huge improvements in our secondary schools over the last five years, achieved by partnering stronger schools with those where improvement is needed.

“These proposals have been made to improve learning across the city. The consultation will be thorough and will provide an opportunity for people to make their views known. It is vital that all interested parties take part so that a complete picture is presented to the executive board.”

The consultation will run until 5 March and there will be a public meeting at each school, the details of which are:
City of Leeds High School: Bedford Field, Woodhouse Cliff, 7pm on Wednesday 10 February; Primrose High School: Stoney Rock Lane, 7pm on Thursday 11 February; Parklands Girls High School: South Parkway, Seacroft, 7pm on Tuesday 23 February.

Information is also available by calling 0113 2475696 or at www.educationleeds.co.uk/schoolorganisation. All views will be summarised and presented to Leeds City Council’s executive board in April.

The consultation will run alongside a city-wide discussion on the future of girls only provision in Leeds.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk

Market cancelled due to poor weather

The continuing snowy conditions have meant that this Sunday’s market at Cross Green on Pontefract Lane has been cancelled, Leeds City Council has said.

Weather conditions permitting, the event will begin again on Sunday 17 January.

As many regular traders as possible have been contacted to inform them of the closure of this week’s market. For more information, people can contact the Market Information Centre on 2145162.

Consultation is underway on latest primary school expansion plans

A consultation to discuss the expansion of six primary schools from 2011 has begun this week.

Local people in Morley, Belle Isle, Armley, Calverley, Cross Gates and Horsforth are being asked for their views on plans to expand local schools to meet an increased demand for reception class places arising from an increased birth rate and movement into Leeds from other areas.

Education Leeds has proposed to permanently expand Blackgates Primary School, Clapgate Primary School, Windmill Primary School, Ryecroft Primary School, Calverley C of E Primary School and Cross Gates Primary School to 420 places each from 2011 to ensure there is a place for every child.

The consultation will run until 12 February. It follows previous work by Education Leeds to provide additional places in schools in the city from September 2010.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:“We have a legal duty to provide local school places for every child. This need varies across Leeds and we are adapting to ensure certain schools can meet these demands. This consultation is an important part of the process and the views of local people need to be considered before a final decision is made.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:“The increased demand for primary school places means we have to reassess the size of certain schools.

“The demand on these seven schools will increase from 2011 and we need to ensure there will be places available to every child. This consultation will ensure families and local communities can find out more about the plans and help influence the final decision.”

Public meetings will take place at each school on the following dates:
Calverley C of E Primary School, Town Gate, Calverley – 12 January, 7pm. Ryecroft Primary School, Stonebridge Grove, Farnley – 13 January, 7pm. Clapgate Primary School, Cranmore Drive – 14 January, 7pm.
Blackgates Primary School, Smith Lane, Wakefield – 25 January, 6.30pm. Windmill Primary School, Windmill Road, Belle Isle – 28 January, 6.30pm.
Cross Gates Primary School, Poole Crescent – 3 February, 7pm.

The consultation will run until 12 February 2010 and information has been circulated to all affected schools, local libraries, GPs and ward members and are also available by calling 0113 2475696 or at www.educationleeds.co.uk/schoolorganisation.

All views will be summarised and presented to Leeds City Council’s executive board in spring 2010.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk

Have your say on proposed Horsforth primary school changes

Families in Horsforth are to be asked for their views on proposals to change the structure of primary school provision from 2011.

Education Leeds has proposed to make two local schools into all age primary schools which would accommodate every child between the ages of five and 11 years old – a change from the current 7-11 year age group at Newlaithes and the 5-7 year age group at Featherbank.

Proposals include changing the age ranges admission limits of Horsforth Newlaithes Junior School and Horsforth Featherbank Infant School to establish them both as all age primary schools from September 2011. This will provide an additional 30 reception year places which are needed to help meet the increased demand for places which has been caused by a higher than anticipated birth rate and a movement of families into the area.

Leeds City Council’s executive board agreed yesterday (Wednesday) for a consultation on the proposals to take place. If given the go ahead, the plans would remove separate infant and junior provision in the town.

A further consultation on the proposed expansion of Horsforth West End Primary School to accommodate additional pupils – which was agreed by the council’s executive board in December – will also take place at the same time.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:“We have a legal duty to provide local school places for every child which needs one. This need varies across Leeds and we are adapting to ensure certain schools can meet these demands. This consultation is an important part of the process and the views of local people need to be considered before a final decision is made.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:“The proposed changes to Horsforth Newlaithes Junior School and Horsforth Featherbank Infant School will provide an additional 30 reception places while the proposed expansion of Horsforth West End Primary School will further increase the number of places available.

“This consultation is important and will ensure families and local communities can find out more about the plans and influence the final decision.”

The consultation will run from Monday 11 January until Friday 26 February. Public meetings will also take place on the following dates: Horsforth Newlaithes Junior School, Victoria Crescent, Horsforth, LS18 4PT, Tuesday 19 January 2010, 7pm; Horsforth Featherbank Infant School, Featherbank Avenue, Horsforth, LS18 4QR, Thursday 21 January 2010, 7.30pm; Horsforth West End Primary School, West End Lane, Horsforth, LS18 5JP, Tuesday 2 February 2010, 6.30pm.

Information has been circulated to all affected schools, local ward members and all interested parties. Information is also available by calling 0113 2475696 or at www.educationleeds.co.uk/schoolorganisation. All views will be summarised and presented to Leeds City Council’s executive board in April.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk