Stuart has joined local Councillors in welcoming the decision of Leeds City Council to abandon the controversial Leeds Bradford Airport link road proposals, which would have cut directly through the Greenbelt in Horsforth and Rawdon.
Leeds City Council brought these proposals to public consultation, where they were met with stiff opposition by Stuart Andrew MP, Horsforth & Rawdon City Councillors, and local residents. The proposed routes would depend entirely on the near-gridlocked Ring Road and Horsforth Roundabout, the real sources of congestion en-route to the airport. Rawdon Parish Councillors also conducted an extensive traffic survey which confirmed local belief that only a very small percentage of airport traffic could benefit from the Link road at all.
Following this opposition, Leeds City Council have been forced to abandon these plans and return to the drawing board, with a new scaled-back proposal now to be drafted that will focus on supporting a new railway station and park-and-ride to the north of Horsforth. This will ease the pressure on existing stations, where parking is already a significant issue as highlighted by local Councillors during the consultation.
In a joint statement, Horsforth & Rawdon Councillors Dawn Collins, Jackie Shemilt and Jonathon Taylor said: “We have consistently argued against this new road which only started where the congestion finished, and we are pleased we had the support of local people. Forcing the council to U-turn on one of their flagship policies was always going to be difficult but this is a clear victory for our campaign to invest instead in the Outer Ring Road”.
They added “We will await with interest and open minds what these new proposals will be, but we encourage greater engagement with us and our community to find an acceptable way forward. Horsforth & Rawdon have again proved we will not sit idly by whilst Leeds City Council tries to impose damaging projects, such as this Link Road or development on the strawberry fields”.
Newly re-elected Stuart Andrew MP said "Thank goodness Leeds City Council have at long last listened to the calls that our local Councillors and I have been making and scrapped the idea of an enormous link road to Leeds Bradford Airport. When we are in a state of a climate change emergency, it made no sense to destroy greenbelt land to build this road and impose the further congestion it would have caused on my constituents. Now the Council need urgently to move forward to invest the money in the Ring Road and junctions like Horsforth Roundabout instead. Both are far too congested which is frustrating to local commuters and the standing traffic is bad for air quality.
I am personally calling on the Council to be ambitious about these improvements and to start spending the £173 million I secured for the city on schemes such as a rail link to the airport. These are the priorities that matter to so many local people I have spoken to.”