Wednesday, 11 May 2011

New technology to keep Leeds moving

Drivers coming into Leeds will be greeted by state of the art traffic update screens from May 2011.

One of the first authorities in the UK to use this technology, Leeds City Council is installing 11 new screens on approaches into Leeds City Centre.

The high defintion screens will be used to tell the travelling public about any major incidents affecting traffic or road works on city centre roads including the inner ring road.

Leeds City Council’s urban traffic management centre will control the screens and will post urgent traffic messages and also messages about upcoming road works on the screens to pre-warn travellers.

Gary Bartlett, Leeds City Council chief officer for highways and transportation said:

“These signs will provide advanced warning to people travelling into Leeds, of any planned road works or incidents that have happened. By installing these signs it should ease of some of the city centre traffic and allow people to plan alternative routes.

“One imminent use for the signs will be to warn the travelling public of the essential refurbishment works to the Inner Ring Road tunnels starting in mid June. Advance notice of the affected weekends will help the travelling public to plan alternative routes, minimising the impact of the works on their journeys.”

Leeds is one of the first cities in the UK to make use of signs like this high definition two colour signs to ensure the right information is presented clearly to road users.

By helping people avoid major congestion the signs should make Leeds an easier place to travel in.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Leeds carries the torch for volunteering

Natasha Mort (Voluntary Action Leeds), Cllr Lucinda Yeadon and Leah Black (Groundwork) accept the volunteering torch from Chris Brayhemingway, Dominick Judd and Amie Harris of Carr Manor High School

The environmental strand of the European Year of Volunteering 2011 (EYV2011) in Leeds was launched earlier today (11 May) at an event at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm.

Organised by Groundwork Leeds, who are leading the environmental theme throughout the year, the event was opened by Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive board member with responsibility for promoting volunteering in Leeds.

The event marked the start of an intensive two months of activity to promote environmental volunteering in Leeds. Thirty events have been organised to encourage people in Leeds to get involved in a variety of activities such as creating a wildlife garden, bat walks and spring-cleaning down at Clarence Dock. There will also be a celebration event for environmental volunteers and an environmental fair at Kirkstall Abbey. All of the main environmental organisations in the city are involved, as well as Leeds City Council. The two months will give people an opportunity to find out more about the volunteering work that environment groups and organisations are currently doing in Leeds, plus a chance to speak to environmental volunteers about what they do and their experiences.

The event also featured the passing on of the ‘olympic’ style volunteering torch by students from Carr Manor High School representing the outgoing children and young people’s theme to the environmental volunteering theme.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for the European Year of Volunteering 2011 in Leeds said:
“Leeds is already one of the greenest cities in the UK, and, with the help of our volunteers, we can make more improvements to our local environment, particularly in inner city areas.

“The EYV2011 has given us a brilliant opportunity to build on the success we had with the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering, and we are committed to continuing to celebrate and promote the benefits of volunteering to our residents.

“The event this morning has provided a taster of some of the environmental volunteering opportunities that are available, and this, along with the other events that will be taking place over the next few weeks, will hopefully encourage more people to get involved. With the lovely weather we have been enjoying recently, there couldn’t be a better time for people to get outdoors and have a go!”

Leah Black, volunteer and placement coordinator for Groundwork Leeds said:
"Groundwork is very proud to be leading the EYV11 environment theme in Leeds, supporting volunteering citywide alongside partners such as BTCV and other local groups and charities. These groups do an amazing job in helping local environmental causes, with volunteering at the heart of the work they do.

"EYV2011 is an exciting opportunity for Leeds to improve and increase environmental volunteering opportunities across the city, and to showcase the great work that is already happening. Throughout May and June, we have a programme of events, aimed at raising awareness of volunteering across Leeds and creating an even better volunteering experience for local people."

To further promote the large number of environmental volunteering opportunities that exist in Leeds, Groundwork has produced a leaflet, which also highlights activities and events taking place in May and June. The leaflet and further information on environmental groups, organisations and volunteering opportunities in Leeds can be found at .

Additional info

Groundwork is leading the environment theme in Leeds working in partnership with key partners Leeds City Council, Voluntary Aciton Leeds, Aire Action Leeds, British Waterways, Beeston in Bloom, BTCV, Healthy Living Network Leeds, Leeds Ahead, and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

2011 is the European Year of Volunteering. Its objectives are to:
• Work towards an enabling and facilitating environment for volunteering in the EU;
• Empower volunteer organisations and improve the quality of volunteering;
• Reward and recognise volunteering activities; and
• Raise awareness of the value and importance of volunteering.

The “spotlight” theme months in Leeds during 2011 are as follows
1. January and February - poverty and homelessness theme led by LATCH housing association
2. March and April - young people and children theme led by Learning Partnerships
3. May and June - environment theme led by Groundwork
4. July and August – sport theme with Sports Leeds
5. September and October – culture theme led by Space 2
6. November and December theme – health theme led by Healthy Living Network Leeds

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578