Airport Link Road Plans

Published: 20 December 2019

Rawdon Parish Council is pleased to see that Leeds City Council has responded to the feedback that we and others provided concerning their ill conceived and controversial Airport Link Road Plans.

They were aware of a previous report by Scott Wilson that dismissed the proposed routes on the basis they would not attract sufficient traffic to be justified.

Rawdon Parish Council believed that very little of the traffic using the A65 between Rawdon Crematorium and Rawdon traffic lights was actually bound for the airport and therefore there was no justification for spending £100million plus that could be better spent elsewhere. They also believed, like everyone else who lives in the area, that the real source of congestion and delays accessing the airport by road are caused by the heavily congested outer ring road and its often gridlocked junction with the A65 at Horsforth Roundabout.

In order to test their beliefs they conducted a very comprehensive traffic survey with Councillors themselves standing at junctions counting and recording the number of cars. Their study confirmed that only a tiny proportion of cars on that stretch of road at rush hour are airport bound.

The first survey was done in the early part of the year during winter in order to complete it before consultation deadlines. They have since conducted further traffic counts to establish if the pattern is different in the summer. Although there were slightly higher levels of traffic heading to the Airport, the basic conclusions were confirmed.

Neil Hunt (Parish Council Chairman) said,

“We concluded that there could be no justification for spending £100million plus on a link road that would serve few airport users, do little to relieve congestion and tear a scar right through the middle of our Green Belt. That is especially the case when the main reason that improvements to the Ring Road have been dismissed in the past has been an apparent lack of funds. The Climate Emergency declared by Leeds City Council is one more significant reason not to tarmac over green spaces to build a road that would have been more of a trophy project than a useful piece of infrastructure. The climate, the airport and our road network would benefit far more if that money was used to address the real problems, where significant congestion leads to increased pollution and dramatically extended journey times”

“ I understand Leeds are to make new proposals that centre more on rail access and park-n-ride schemes. I hope they will engage with us and other local organisations more fully before they make their proposals. That way, if they are well designed and are likely to reduce the amount of traffic congesting on our roads, the whole community should be able to support the new plans.”

Contact Neil Hunt C/O Lis Moore (Parish Clerk)