Leeds will permanently close off to traffic a city centre street to improve air quality, after a successful pilot which saw Cookridge Street transformed into a pop-up park during the summer.
The street connects to the Headrow, one of Leeds’ busiest streets, and will be re-designed to offer the public seating, street cafes, play areas and green space. The council says the closure will contribute to a reduction in city centre emissions and improve air quality.
Every summer since 2016, the street has been the home to the pop-up park, which has proved popular with the general public and families visiting the city.
As the construction takes place, it will close permanently for all vehicle traffic in autumn 2020, with the works completed by March 2021.
Leeds City Council executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development Cllr Lisa Mulherin said: ‘By becoming vehicle-free, we are supporting a healthier, livable and greener city, which is what people want in the 21st Century.
‘The new Cookridge Street public realm will provide opportunities for people to be active, play and rest – with cleaner air quality. And for communities to come together and meet, ultimately making the cultural offer of the city more attractive for our residents, visitors, and businesses.’
Last week, Leeds City Council confirmed that the city’s delayed Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will come into force in July 2020 at the earliest.
Leeds’ CAZ will cover over half of Leeds city centre, with HGVs, buses and coaches set to be charged £50 per day for travelling in the zone if they fail to meet the minimum emissions standards.
Taxis and private hire vehicles will be charged £12.50 per day, or a reduced rate of £50 per week if the vehicles are licensed in Leeds.
Photo Credit – Leeds City Council