Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Night time resurfacing of Armley Gyratory

Work is taking place overnight to resurface the Armley Gyratory, which may result in some delays and diversions.

Work started on Monday 8 October and is due to be completed by Wednesday 24 October.

Work will be taking place Monday to Friday between 9pm and 5.30am. Traffic using the gyratory during the daytime or weekend should be unaffected.

There will be some lane closures and a number of road closures as required on the approaches from Ingram Distributor, Tong Road and Canal Street. The outbound route from the Inner Ring Road to the Motorway will always be open. Signed diversions will be in place after 9pm.

Leeds City Council apologises for any inconvience whilst this essential maintenance work is carried out.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Motorists warned of temporary closure of Leeds Inner Ring Road

The A58M Leeds Inner Ring Road is to be closed to traffic in both directions the weekend of Saturday 20 October to Monday 22 October to allow for the installation of the final new concrete beams as part of the essential major repair works to Lovell Park Road Bridge.

The closure of the A58M Inner Ring Road in both directions will start at 8pm on Saturday 20th October and will last until 5am on Monday 22nd October.

Lovell Park Road Bridge carries Lovell Park Road over the A58M Inner Ring Road near to the site of the Leeds Arena. Repair works started on the bridge on in June.

The works are currently progressing well and the final new beams are to be installed using a large crane that will be placed on the A58M Inner Ring Road next to the bridge.

Leeds City Council apologises for the disruption to traffic travelling through the city centre. These works may cause significant delays and people are advised to allow more time for their journeys.

The extent of the closures will be between:-

Eastbound Traffic
The closure will be between the Woodhouse Lane exit slip and the North Street entry slip although Harrogate bound traffic will be permitted to continue to the Clay Pit Lane exit slip only.

Eastbound through traffic will be diverted via the Armley Gyratory, the A643 to the M621 Jnct 2, onto the M621 to Junct 4, onto the A61 towards York and East Leeds.

Local and City Centre traffic will be diverted via the A660, Woodhouse Lane, Merrion Way and North St.

Westbound Traffic
The closure will be between the A653 Marsh Lane exit slip and the A58 Clay Pit Lane entry slip.

Westbound traffic will be diverted via the A653 Marsh Lane, the A61 (signposted towards the motorways), onto the M621 at Junct 4 and exiting at Junct 2, onto the A643 towards the Armley Gyratory.

No further closures of the A58M Inner Ring Road will be required once the final beams have been installed.

The bridge is being repaired as part of a major £25 million programme to restore three bridges on the Inner Ring Road. Repairs to the New York Road Viaduct have been recently completed, and the final phase – to Woodhouse Tunnel - will begin in Spring 2013.

For full details of the dates, times and location of the closures together with the diversion routes for affected traffic see .

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Test project builds job prospects for prisoners

Leeds City Council is offering valuable work experience to offenders in a new pilot project.

Working with HMP Leeds, the council has taken on a team of people nearing the end of their sentences. The six men joined the ranks of council staff in environmental services on a four-week placement at the end of September.

To help make the most of the voluntary placement The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) provided training in emergency first aid, team building and the specialist skills needed to carry out essential clean up tasks in south Leeds communities.

After completing an induction session and health and safety training, the team have been learning about environmental issues while they clear flytipped waste and litter from grot spots and cut back overgrown vegetation from ginnels and paths.

In order to be considered for the test programme, prisoners had to be working towards their release and all expressed a genuine desire to take part. Having been subjected to a robust assessment for suitability by staff at HMP Leeds, each potential candidate was also interviewed by council supervisors.

It’s hoped that the work experience will help bridge the gap between prison and getting into work on release.

And if successful, the pilot project could be taken up by other council services.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“Working with our crews in environmental services, the participants will get a real insight into the inner workings of a big organisation like the council, what we’re looking for in an employee and how we support our employees in return.

“This shows the commitment of the council to provide meaningful rehabilitation support, working in partnership with HMP Leeds.

“The participants will gain first hand experience of how much effort and expertise it takes to keep our communities clean and the level of commitment needed for them to become reliable recruits for any business in the future.”

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive member for leisure and skills, said:

“Projects like this can offer those serving time the confidence and motivation they need to help them turn their lives around.

“These placements will be a really productive time for those taking part and we hope it will improve their job prospects on release; with relevant experience under their belts, they can get back into work and help break the cycle of re-offending.

“We’ll be watching the progress of those involved carefully and if successful we’ll look to run similar projects in the future.”

Steve Freer, business development manager, HMP Leeds, said:

“For ex-prisoners to be successful in what is already a very competitive job market, they need to be able to demonstrate they have a great work ethic and the desire to succeed.

“Voluntary work experience allows them to do this and is a key part of helping offenders resettle once they are released. We are grateful to employers like Leeds City Council in offering these opportunities.

“For an offender to participate in this worthwhile project, knowing they are repaying part of their debt to the community, and to come away with a reference supports HMP Leeds’ reducing re-offending agenda.

“It’s still early days but we’re hoping that this could be the start of a very productive project between Leeds City Council, HMP Leeds and the other organisations involved.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577


Two weeks remain to claim free insulation

Leeds residents have just over two weeks left to claim their free insulation from Wrap Up Leeds.

The Leeds City Council-backed scheme offering free cavity wall and loft insulation comes to an end on Friday 26 October when the hotline closes to new requests.

In a bid to help as many people as possible and thanks to an extension in funding, the original cut-off date of September was extended.

So far nearly 8,000 people have had their cavity walls insulated, their loft insulated for the first time or their existing loft insulation topped up.

And with a definite chill in the air and many people reaching for their heating controls, these residents will soon start to reap the benefits of spending less to keep their homes warmer.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, a fully insulated home will save around £300 a year in energy bills.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“The clock really is ticking now for anyone who hasn’t yet taken advantage of this fantastic offer.

“The chance to benefit from completely free cavity wall or loft insulation will be coming to end not just with Wrap Up Leeds, but nationally when these types of offer will be replaced by the Green Deal.

“I can’t stress just how important it is for people to call the team and get registered. We don’t want people to miss out on hundreds of pounds worth of savings on their fuel bills.”

Councillor David Blackburn, chair of the council’s cross-party environment and climate change working group, said:

“It’s that time of year when people start to put their heating on, but some people are in the desperate situation when they want to heat their home but know they can’t afford to.

“Wrap Up Leeds can help. Your personal circumstances won’t affect your eligibility – you just need to own your own home or rent it privately and it needs to be suitable for cavity wall or loft insulation or a top up.

“As well as the all-important saving on heating bills, we can help Leeds become a cleaner, greener city with homes cutting their carbon emissions.”

Anyone thinking of getting a head start on their Christmas shopping can also benefit from Wrap Up Leeds’ refer a friend offer.

£20 of high street vouchers will be paid to anyone who refers a friend to the scheme who goes on to have their home insulated with Wrap Up Leeds.

The refer a friend offer is also open to schools and community groups.

Wrap Up Leeds launched in January 2012 and is a partnership with Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Energy Services with funding from EDF Energy.

Call 0800 052 0071 or apply online at

The 0800 number is free from most landline providers, but may not be free from mobile networks. If you would prefer, please call Wrap Up Leeds on 01484 351 779.

Or contact Wrap Up Leeds on

About Wrap Up Leeds

  • Wrap Up Leeds is available to all homeowners and privately renting tenants (where landlord’s permission has been granted) in the Leeds City Council area only.
  • Free cavity wall insulation, loft insulation (where less than 60mm of loft insulation currently exists) and loft ‘top up’s’ (where more than 60mm but less than 160mm of loft insulation currently exists) are available under the scheme.
  • A free, technical survey of the property will confirm that the work will definitely be free and much larger properties or those that need extensive scaffolding may be asked to pay a contribution towards the work.
  • Savings of £1,653,750 on energy bills is estimated to be saved from Wrap Up Leeds which is based on installing cavity wall insulation in 6,000 homes, laying insulation in over 3,000 empty lofts and ‘topping up’ a further 5,850 lofts.
  • The ‘refer a friend’ offer applies to individuals, schools and community groups. Anyone can refer a friend regardless of whether they have had insulation installed themselves. £20 high street shopping vouchers will be given to the referrer. The vouchers will only be honoured if the friend’s property is insulated with at least one measure under the Wrap up Leeds scheme. The referral must be made before the application is processed. The referrer’s name, address and telephone number, must be provided with the referral. The referral must be made by returning the card or giving details over the phone.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577