Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Work starts on highway improvement works to Roundhay Road

Improvements to Roundhay Road in Leeds have started this week.

Following a comprehensive public consultation and close working with local councillors, the local MP and businesses during 2012-13, the Roundhay Road Improvement Scheme has now been approved.

The highway improvement scheme will tackle the issue of road safety in the area and will consist of an enforced peak period outbound bus/cycle/taxi lane, the introduction of traffic signals at the Shepherd’s Lane junction; one-way streets to facilitate traffic signals; improvements to and the provision of additional pedestrian crossing facilities; formalised traffic lanes and turning manoeuvres to improve road safety. A review a review of the parking restrictions along this section of Roundhay Road to meet local needs will also be undertaken.

Roundhay Road, between Harehills Road and Gledhow Road, is ranked ninth on the council’s Accident Lengths for Concern List 2007-2011. During a review of the accidents occurring, it was identified that one of the main influences was congestion at periods when traffic normally began to queue in two lanes. The situation led to pedestrians being masked and drivers failing to see one another when carrying out turning manoeuvres and emerging from side streets.

In order to tackle these issues, the scheme will make better use of the existing wide road space to give priority to buses, while also providing formal and informal crossing points for pedestrians with minimum disruption to traffic flow.

As one of the most congested corridors in the city at peak times, it is hoped that improving bus journey times will encourage more commuters to use the bus as an alternative means of transport and reduce the number of cars using this corridor.

The work has started this week, and is due to be completed before Christmas with the majority of the works being carried out during off-peak periods.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for development and the economy, said:

“We have had a lengthy period of discussion on this scheme with residents, local businesses, the local MP and ward members in the area and have brought together an improvement scheme to address both the road safety issues and the peak-time congestion problems.

“With this area being in the top ten on our accident concern list it is important that we get this work done.”

For updates on the project visit www.leeds.gov.uk/roundhayrd


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk

Green festival set to open in grounds of Leeds museum

A day of family fun events celebrating the fantastic colour, splendour and wildlife which exists in the surroundings of a popular museum in Leeds will be held this month.

As part of the Hedgerow Festival on Sunday 13 October from 11.00am -3.30pm, visitors will have the opportunity to take part in a range of activities on the tranquil island home of Thwaite Mills Watermill in Stourton, which is one of the last examples in Britain of a water-powered mill.

On offer will be the chance to learn more about tree identification, bushcraft and apple pressing, and join in on a wild food walk and orchard trail. A range of children’s activities and natural crafts will also be available on the day in the grounds of the museum, which boasts beehives, a wildlife pond, an outdoor classroom and gazebo, minibeast hotels, boat moorings and bicycle parking.

Supported by a number of groups, including Leeds Bee Keepers, Leeds Urban Harvest, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Breathing Green, Rothwell County Park and TCV, tickets for the festival are priced at £6.70 for a family ticket, adults £3.40, children £1.30 and concessions £1.80.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills said:

"The island which is home to Thwaite Mills Watermill really is beautiful, and this is a great chance to explore the area and find out more about the natural environment and wildlife which exists there.

"On the day there will also be a wide-range of activities on offer, which celebrating the outdoors, will be both educational and great fun for all the family."

Notes to editors:
Thwaite Mills Watermill is perfectly nestled on a tranquil island between the River Aire and the Aire and Calder Navigation, just at the end of Thwaite Lane in Stourton.

One of the best and last remaining examples of a water-powered putty mill in Britain, this fully restored and fascinating museum allows visitors to experience the power and force of water powered industry in action.

Thwaite Mills address:
Thwaite Lane
LS10 1RP
Tel: 0113 276 2887

Thwaite Mills website address: www.leeds.gov.uk/thwaitemills
Thwaite Mills is open at the following times:
Open every Saturday and Sunday, 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Closed on Mondays except for bank holidays
Open during Leeds school holidays on Tuesdays – Fridays, 10.00am – 5.00pm

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578
Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk

Blue badge fraudsters haunted by their actions

The actions of two Blue Badge fraudsters have come back to haunt them having been caught using badges belonging to deceased people.

Another two cheats were caught out by civil enforcement officers using badges while the badge holders weren’t present.

In a bid to crack down on Blue Badge abuse, all four people were called to appear before magistrates last Friday (4 October).

John Aveyard of Tilbury Mount, Holbeck, George Michael of Austhorpe Road, Nazia Hussain of Park View Road, Burley and Phainos Jere of Lincoln Green Court will have to pay out a total of £2,585.

Aveyard was fined £500 and ordered to pay £292 costs and a £50 victim surcharge, while Michael was fined £150 and ordered to pay costs of £350 and a £20 victim surcharge. Both were caught using badges in the names of deceased people.

On 8 May 2013, Aveyard was seen parking in a pay and display bay, placing a Blue Badge in the windscreen and making no attempt to pay.

When approached by an enforcement officer Aveyard claimed to be dropping the badge holder off and parking to join them at work. Aveyard drove off when questioned further by the officer.

A check showed that the badge Aveyard had displayed was in the name of someone who passed away in 2011.

Michael’s car was seen parked in a disabled bay on 9 May 2013. A quick check showed that the badge he’d displayed was in the name of someone who passed away earlier in the year.

Michael admitted using the badge fraudulently when questioned.

Both Hussain and Jere were seen by officers parking in pay and display spaces on 17 April. They were clearly seen on their own and having placed Blue Badges in their windscreens, they walked off without paying.

On questioning, both admitted using badges issued to other people. Blue Badges can only be used if the badge holder is present.

Hussain was fined £300 and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £476 costs. Jere will have to pay out £297 in costs, a £20 victim surcharge and was fined £100.

As all four had wrongfully used Blue Badges, legal proceedings were started.

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

“Blue Badges are for people who have a genuine disability, not people trying to get out of paying parking fees by committing fraud.

“If your details change or a badge holder sadly passes away, we need to know so we can put a stop to cheats. You also need to be clear on the rules on when you can and can’t use the badges.

“Where we can, we will always seek to prosecute those who abuse the system and disadvantage those who have a legitimate need for a Blue Badge.”

People could have their Blue Badges revoked or renewal refused if they or others persistently abuse them.

They also face a maximum £1,000 fine if prosecuted and found guilty of abusing the system.

See www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/pages/blue-badge-parking.aspx and www.gov.uk/browse/driving/blue-badge-parking for more information.


For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk