FEATHERBANK Primary School pupils helped plant trees near their school to mark completion of the A6120 Fink Hill highway scheme.

The scheme has also benefitted the primary school pupils who are using the changes to help safely get to school, with a new pedestrian crossing installed nearby.

Ilkley Gazette: The new crossing improving safetyThe new crossing improving safety (Image: LCC)

The Fink Hill junction located between the A65 New Roadside (Horsforth roundabout) and Low Lane roundabout, is a key route for traffic travelling between the Ring Road and Horsforth.

Leeds City Council conducted the highways works lasting about a year, which sees the completed scheme include:

• A new pedestrian crossing east of Featherbank Lane to help school pupils crossing the A6120.

• Planting up to 165 new trees, replacing old trees on a ratio of three new trees for one old, with a variety of species.

• Introducing pedestrian crossing facilities on all arms of the Fink Hill junction.

• Creation of new cycle lanes on the north and south side of the Outer Ring Road between Horsforth roundabout and Fink Hill, including a section through Horsforth Hall Park with crossing facilities and signposts for cyclists.

• Road widening between Horsforth roundabout and Fink Hill. This is to improve safety by providing two lanes in both directions, with a left turn lane on the approach to the Fink Hill junction.

• Providing two lanes in each direction between Fink Hill and Charles Street, with a right turn lane for vehicles travelling from the A6120 into Fink Hill.

Ilkley Gazette: The completed scheme at Fink HillThe completed scheme at Fink Hill (Image: LCC)

Head teacher Miss Scudder, Horsforth Featherbank Primary School, said: “Our school council was delighted to have had the opportunity to work with the council’s parks and countryside rangers to help plant a number of trees along the road near our school. The pupils are keen to do anything they can to help the environment.

“We are really pleased that there is now a safe, controlled crossing in place, as the width of the A6120, coupled with very fast moving cars, has always made it dangerous for our families to cross.”

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for infrastructure and sustainable development, said: “Earlier last month I was delighted to visit the area and see for myself the changes we have made, in a relatively brief time. The scheme will improve connectivity between communities north and south of the ring road, provide new pedestrian crossing facilities and cycle lanes, offer a better junction layout to improve safety as well as improve congestion for residents and commuters.

“It was great to hear how the children at Featherbank are now using their new crossing and wider pavements walking to school. And also getting their hands dirty by helping to plant numerous trees along the route near the school, showing their support for the environment and climate. The additional trees will help to reduce carbon, encourage wildlife and act as habitats for many species.

“The local feedback highlights how you can work together with residents by safely improving their streets to achieve mutual benefit. It supports our Leeds Vision Zero ambition that by 2040 no one will be killed or suffer serious injuries on Leeds roads.

“I would like to thank all those who have worked on this scheme, especially in making improvements to road safety.”

Ilkley Gazette: Officers from Leeds City Council, WYCA and DFT visit the completed schemeOfficers from Leeds City Council, WYCA and DFT visit the completed scheme (Image: LCC)

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “This will help improve road safety, reduce congestion, and encourage people to choose more sustainable ways to travel.

“Projects like this are key to delivering on our ambitions for zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2040, as well as becoming a carbon net-zero region by 2038.

“Making walking, cycling, wheeling and using public transport easier will help us build a safer, greener and better-connected West Yorkshire.”

Roads Minister Guy Opperman said: “People deserve to travel on their roads as easily and safely as possible, and I am delighted to see the first part of the Government’s £20 million of Levelling Up funding for Leeds City Council go towards this fantastic scheme.

“These improvements will reduce road congestion and better connect the area, while ensuring those who choose to walk and cycle can do so safely.”

This scheme was jointly funded by the Department for Transport (Levelling Up Fund) as part of the Connecting West Leeds (CWL) programme and West Yorkshire Combined Authority (West Yorkshire Transport Fund) Corridor Improvement Programme (CIP).