Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Delays possible as weekend works on Ring Road recommence

Repairs to a busy section of the Leeds Inner Ring Road start again this weekend.

Drivers are being warned they could face delays as a result of the work to Woodhouse Tunnel, which runs underneath Leeds University and Leeds General Infirmary.

One side of the tunnel will be closed in each direction almost every weekend from now until mid October. The partial closures will last from 8 pm on the Friday until 5 am the following Monday. There will be a contraflow through the tunnels at these times.

City centre shoppers are being advised to use public transport where possible to avoid congestion. Alternative routes for drivers will be signed around the city. Information about the closures will also be carried on the newly installed traffic update screens on approaches to the city centre.

The work, which began on 24 June, involves replacing 800 square metres of defective concrete on the tunnel roof which has deteriorated because of salt used in road grit.

To minimise disruption Leeds City Council has arranged for the repairs to take place over weekends. The council has consulted widely with a range of organisations to ensure disruption is minimised as much as possible.

A team of 70 people will be working round the clock over the weekends to complete the repairs in the allotted time.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member responsible for highways maintenance, said:

“This is essential maintenance work which cannot be delayed. We understand that it will cause traffic disruption and have done everything possible to minimise this and give people advance notice so they can prepare.

“This is the first time we have done this scale of work on this part of the road network since the early 1990s and we want to ensure that all who rely on this section of road are aware in good time of the scheduled closures and able to plan ahead.”

The work to Woodhouse Tunnel is just one part of a wide-scale repair plan for the whole of the Leeds inner ring road for which the council is currently bidding for Government funding.

Built throughout the 60s and 70s as the city’s principal inner urban motorway, the ring road carries on average 75,000 vehicles every day and its infrastructure now needs significant repair work.

At the time the ring road was built, it was one of the largest construction projects ever undertaken in the city and it pioneered cutting edge engineering techniques. It sank a road right through the middle of one of the busiest cities in the UK. The aim was to divert traffic away from the city centre and to build motorway links to surrounding areas and cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford and Hull.

Councillor Lewis added:

“Life in Leeds is almost totally dependent on the Leeds inner ring road. It is a massive asset to the city and the wider city region. It is the pulse of the city’s economy, yet most people use it without even thinking about it.

“It has served this city well for nearly 50 years and our priority is that it has the necessary repairs and maintenance work done to ensure it continues to serve our city for another 50 years.”

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Notes to editors:


The weekend closures of two lanes of Woodhouse Tunnel will begin on each Friday of the following weekends:

8 July, 15 July, 22 July, 29 July, 5 August, 12 August, 19 August, 2 September, 9 September, 23 September, 30 September, 7 October, 14 October. For each weekend closure the road will be closed from 8pm Friday to 5am Monday

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For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk

Volunteer Centre Leeds on tour

From today, Volunteer Centre Leeds is going out on the road to take volunteering opportunities out into local communities.

Starting in Yeadon Library on 6 July, the weekly outreach sessions will promote local volunteering opportunities for local people, and increase awareness of Volunteer Centre Leeds amongst volunteers and voluntary organisations.

The aim is to increase the number of community organisations that use the Do-It database to promote their volunteering opportunities, and give people the chance to take part in volunteering within 10 minutes of where they live.

A team of two volunteers from Volunteer Centre Leeds will deliver the sessions, which are planned to run through until the end of the year.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, champion for volunteering in Leeds said:
“Lots of people are interested in getting involved in events and activities in and around the communities where they live, but don’t always know how to go about it.

“Offering outreach sessions in communities will give people the chance to find out what’s going on in their local areas without them having to go too far away from where they live.

“Volunteer Centre Leeds is a legacy of the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering, which plays a crucial role in promoting volunteering opportunities in the city. It also offers support to organisations in helping them to make sure that volunteers have a good volunteering experience.

“Over the next few months, Volunteer Centre Leeds will be coming to a venue near you, so please take a look at how you can get involved in making your local community a better place.”

Forthcoming dates and venues – all on Wednesdays between 1.30 – 3.30pm

6 July Yeadon Library
13 July Meanwood Children’s Centre
20 July Horsforth Library
27 July Burley Library
14 Sept Brudenell Centre
21 Sept Chapeltown Library
28 Sept Moor Allerton Library

More venues will be announced in due course.

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Additional info

For more information about local volunteering opportunities visit Volunteer Centre Leeds, 12 St Paul's Street, Leeds LS1 2LE, telephone Leeds 395 0405. Opening hours are 10am to 3pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am to 3pm on Wednesdays and 10am to 2pm on Thursdays. It’s not necessary to make an appointment, just drop in.

The Do-it website features volunteering opportunities from all around the country, and has a search facility to help you find things in your local area www.do-it.org.uk

Following the success of the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering, Leeds City Council agreed to continue to celebrate and promote volunteering in the city during the 2011 European Year of Volunteering (EYOV).

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk

Recycling figures top 40 per cent for the second month in a row

Recycling figures in Leeds have hit an all time high with the last two months’ rates showing more than 40 per cent of household waste has been recycled.

April’s recycling levels saw 40.4 per cent of household waste recycled for the first time with May’s figure reaching 40.06 per cent.

Both months saw a substantial increase compared to the same period last year - the rate for April 2010’s figure was five per cent less and May 2010’s figure was around three per cent less.

The figures mark a milestone in the city’s recycling and have set a new target for households and Leeds City Council to aim for on a regular basis.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive board member for environmental services, said:
“To break the 40 per cent barrier for recycling across the city is a huge achievement. It is excellent that residents are recycling more of their waste and I’d like to thank everyone who has helped make this possible. Each year tough targets are set which aim to improve on previous achievements and reaching these heights prove that as a city, we can really make a difference.

“It’s important that we all do our bit to reduce, reuse and recycle. Our commitment to residents is that we will continue to deliver a reliable and efficient collection service that ensures that less rubbish is sent to landfill. These actions are not only kinder on the environment but also helps save taxpayers’ money too. These achievements are a milestone which we should be proud of but we now have to build on them to ensure recycling rates continue to increase across the city.”

A range of materials can be recycled in Leeds. Households can recycle paper, plastics, card and cans in their green bin or bag, use around 480 bring sites with banks for glass bottles and clothing and access 10 household waste sort sites across the city to recycle a huge range of different materials and unwanted second-hand white goods.

More information about recycling can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk/recycleforleeds.

ENDS

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

Persistent anti-social behaviour results in closure order for private property

A catalogue of anti-social behaviour which caused neighbours’ lives to be a misery has resulted in a closure order for a private property in Armley.

Action was taken by Leeds City Council after nearby houses were subjected to repeated incidents of anti-social behaviour including loud music, disorder and fighting over recent months.

Leeds City Council usually takes action against tenants in its own properties but acted swiftly to exclude Charlotte Pell from her private rented property in Holdforth Place, Armley, to ensure the local community did not suffer any longer.

The closure order was granted at Leeds Magistrates Court yesterday (5 July).

Between April and June 2011 there were numerous reports from local residents to West Yorkshire Police and the council’s anti social behaviour team of anti-social behaviour associated with the property.

Incidents included large groups attending the property and shouting, swearing and fighting as well as loud parties until the early hours of the morning. There were also allegations of drug dealing at the address – and many of the visitors who were identified had links or convictions for class A drugs.

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member for community safety, said:
“Many people are under the illusion the council doesn’t have the powers to seek a closure order for private rented properties – but this case highlights we can and will have no hesitation to do so if people are making their neighbours’ lives a misery. We moved swiftly to make this happen so local people did not have to put up with this woman’s continuous anti-social behaviour any longer.

“People should not have to live in fear of noise or violence and action will be taken against those who continuously act without a thought for others. Leeds should be a pleasant and safe place for everyone to live and we will do all we can to make sure this happens.”

Anyone who suffers from anti-social behaviour should call Leeds City Council on 0113 2224402.

ENDS

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

New ‘Walk-it’ maps for Leeds city centre

Work starts this week to install new maps to make it easier for visitors to find their way round Leeds city centre on foot.

Foundations for the ‘Walk-it’ maps are being installed at 24 locations around the city, with the actual signs planned for installation in late summer. They are part of a suite of new printed and on-line maps funded by Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Forward aimed at helping visitors enjoy the city centre shops, restaurants and cultural attractions.

The maps are the first in the UK to use solar powered technology to light up the display. They will be placed in and around the city’s pedestrian shopping area and will link with the bus station, train station and eventually the Leeds Arena. They also align with the direction that the user is reading and will feature images of some of the main buildings around the city centre.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member responsible for city centre management, said:

“It’s an exciting time for the city centre, with projects such as Trinity Leeds and the Leeds Arena now underway, so it’s very important that new visitors to the city can find their way to the excellent facilities on offer.

“Our research told us that there were too many different maps and signs around Leeds city centre, which made it difficult and confusing for people to find their way around.

“These ‘Walk-it’ maps and signage will provide a coherent, easy to understand system that we hope will lead to increased footfall in the city centre and bring more visitors to some of our key attractions.”

The ‘Walk-it’ signage is part of Leeds City Council’s on-going improvement programme in the city centre, which has included the refurbishment of most of the pedestrianised area, new exciting public artwork and tree planting.

The printed maps are available free of charge at the Leeds Visitor Centre, or can be accessed on-line by visiting: www.citycentreleeds.com and clicking on ‘How to get around’


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For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk