Major changes are taking place to vehicle movement in the city centre, as construction work begins to introduce a new 24-hour East Parade bus gate, coming into operation on 19 June.

Works starting on 15 May will also see changes to a section of East Parade to make it two-way to traffic. Calverley Street will also see changes from one-way northbound to two-way. It will not be possible for motorists to access The Headrow when travelling southbound on Calverley Street.

These form part of Leeds City Council plans to make City Square people-first by removing general through-traffic away from the city centre. This next phase will facilitate works to the immediate area in front of the Queens Hotel to create a new pick up and drop off facility, with limited access, to complete by August.

This final phase will see:
East Parade to have a new 24-hour bus gate (South Parade junction), coming into effect from 19 June. Only buses, hackney carriages, bicycles and emergency vehicles will be able to access East Parade bus gate. Work will also include changing a section of East Parade to make it two-way (from Bedford Street) to allow diverted motor vehicles to exit the city centre more easily.

Infirmary Street bus gate will be reinstated. Only buses, hackney carriages, bicycles, and emergency services will be able to access the Infirmary Street bus gate.

Calverley Street will change from one-way northbound to two-way. Because of the existing left and right banned turn movements from the Headrow, and the new bus gate at the top of East Parade, only buses, hackney carriages, bicycles, and emergency services will be able to access Calverley Street from its junction with the Headrow. The new two-way operation will allow access to Calverley Street, Alexander Street and the Town Hall to general traffic via a right turn from Great George Street.

Delivery access arrangements will change. Deliveries will need to come in from Wellington Street through the traffic lights and do a three-point turn at little King Street and head back out the way they came in between 19 May and WC 12 June. After this they will then be able to come up Aire Street northbound.

The Queens Hotel will have a pick-up and drop-off area created within City Square for limited access only managed by the Queens and the council. This will mark the completion of works in August.

City Square works started in September 2022, with the initial closure of City Square to through traffic. Works have continued around the area including closing to traffic the Quebec Street access to City Square. In January King Street and Thirsk Row became two-way, to facilitate vehicle and bus movements. Current works are taking place at the junction of Aire Street and Wellington Street, as well as to the south of City Square in front of the Queens Hotel pick up and drop off area.

Leeds City Station
Works around City Square including the closure of New Station Street by Network Rail are being co-ordinated and planned. The council does everything it can to co-ordinate works with these stakeholders. The timing of these phase of works has been planned to coincide after major city events have taken place, such as the Rob Burrows marathon.

May 19 will see the northern section of New Station Street, from the station’s main entrance towards City Square closed to pedestrians to allow Network Rail to carry out essential maintenance work to reinforce the Mill Goit underground structure beneath the street which supports much of the station above it.

Also due to the closure of New Station Street, the station’s taxi rank will be moved to Princes Square from Thursday (18 May), affecting private hire and hackney carriage services.

Pedestrians will be able to walk towards Boar Lane from the station’s main entrance by turning right and travelling along the other side of New Station Street.

To access City Square, Infirmary Street, Park Row and Wellington Street, pedestrians are advised to use the station’s northern entrance (opposite the Majestic building).

Pedestrians walking to the south bank area of the city can do so by following New Station Street onto Boar Lane and looping back onto Mill Hill, or by using the station’s southern entrance (open between 6am and 10pm). Details on accessing the station are available on the project website Have Your Say Today - Leeds City Rail Station - Commonplace.

Impact on buses
From 18 June, there’s also changes to some bus routes affected by these new layouts and people will need to check with West Yorkshire Metro ahead of travel.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for infrastructure and climate, said: “The works on City Square represent a major change for the highway network in the city centre, and we continue to work hard to manage this as effectively as possible, minimising disruption and ensuring the safety of those working on site and members of the public.

"At the same time we would like to thank those who have begun using different routes or changed the way they travel into the city centre.

“The work now enters the final phase, which supports our ambition to create infrastructure and spaces which favour healthier and more sustainable methods of travel, diverting some general traffic away from the city centre. The bus gate at East Parade helps to divert traffic away from areas such as Whitehall Road and The Headrow, creating safer and more attractive places to walk and cycle.

“It is important that motorists plan their journey in advance and consider either alternative routes or methods of travel. If you do travel along this route by car you must adhere to the restrictions.

“If you’re planning to travel to the city centre during the works, I would encourage you to use alternative methods of transport such as the Park and Ride service, buses, cycling or walking.

“If you feel you really must drive into the city centre, please plan your journey in advance, try to avoid the area, allow extra time, and consider travelling outside of peak hours. We have put together alternative routes if driving via and again, thank you for your patience.”