Early work is due to start ahead of Leeds Station’s £39.5million Sustainable Travel Walkway scheme later this year.
This will see both New Station Street and Bishopgate Street transformed into safer and more pedestrian-friendly spaces.
New Station Street will see vehicular traffic removed except for service deliveries and emergency vehicles.
The appearance of the area will be improved and access options will be provided, including the installation of wider, shallower and safer steps outside the station entrance and two large passenger lifts between New Station Street and Bishopgate Street.
The taxi rank will be relocated to Bishopgate Street and will double the size of the existing station. The new taxi rank supply lines on Swinegate and Sovereign Street will accommodate the same number of vehicles as the existing supply line on New Station Street.
The works will also see a cycle center built at the station, which will include electric charging points and storage for all types of bikes, and separate cycle infrastructure installed on Neville Street, Dark Neville Street and Bishopgate.
All improvements will be made by Leeds City Council in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Network Rail as the landowner. The overall project is expected to be completed in 2024.
Lees City Council explains that the number of rail passengers using the station is expected to increase significantly over the next 20 years.
It says the works are needed to meet capacity demands and ensure people can enter, exit and wait for services safely to meet Network Rail’s safety standards.
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: ‘Leeds station is one of the busiest in the country, making it a key gateway not just to the city center but to other destinations. across West Yorkshire and beyond.
“I want to grow our economy, connect more people with opportunity, and address the climate emergency on our path to becoming a net-zero carbon economy by 2038.
“We need a reliable and efficient transport system to do this and that is why I continue to call on the government to invest more.”
Councilor Susan Hinchcliffe, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s transport committee, added: “We are delighted to be working with Leeds City Council on this important project, which is part of a 39 improvements package, £5 million which will create a more welcoming space, and improve access for pedestrians and cyclists to the station.
Leeds City Council is reminding motorists to plan ahead as a lane closure begins on Bishopgate Street and Neville Street on Monday May 23.
Bishopgate Street and Neville Street will both be reduced to a single lane for traffic traveling through the city center towards the station.
The lane closures are expected to last until the end of the year and will allow preliminary work to be carried out. It also comes ahead of proposed work to close City Square to through traffic, which is expected to start later this year subject to final approval.