Cycling Legend Plans Safer Leeds Route

Boardman Proposes New Traffic-Free Headrow Following Grand Depart

03.07.2014

The Headrow in the heart of Leeds will briefly be the centre of the cycling world this weekend as the Tour de France begins there - but British Olympic hero Chris Boardman is planning a permanent legacy for the event.

Boardman, who won a track cycling gold at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, has unveiled a scheme designed to turn the Headrow into a car-free boulevard designed with bicycles in mind.

Developed by British Cycling and Leeds City Council, the plan would also see the thoroughfare in front of the town hall given a 20 mph speed limit as part of a £4 million transformation. This would also include most of the street furniture being removed, wider walkways and lower kerbs to make the area more accessible for riders and also wheelchair users.

Boardman, who is a policy advisor for British Cycling, has called for the government to commit £10 of funding per head available to each local authority towards improving the lot of cyclists.

"Millions of people in Britain say they would like to cycle but they are put off due to safety fears.

"We cannot pretend that this is going to miraculously change. National government need[s] to face up to some hard truths and commit adequate investment."

He emphasised this was not about securing new money, but a change in priorities, tied into a wider vision of making urban spaces healthier and safer to live and work in.

Backing the plan, leader of Leeds City Council Keith Wakefield said: "We want to put cycling at the heart of the future of Leeds," adding that it is the local eight authorities "long-term aim" to encourage many more people in the city to cycle.

According to the latest Government figures - dating back to 2011 - the Leeds Central parliamentary constituency, which includes the Headrow, had 17 reported accidents involving cyclists that year, well ahead of the city's suburban constituencies.

The tally in Leeds Central was also higher than any other Leeds seat in four of the previous six years, confirming the city centre as the most dangerous place to ride a bike.

Our specialist road traffic accident lawyers have experience helping a wide number of people who have suffered injuries following a cycling accident. Visit our Cycling Accident Claims page for more information.


Expert Opinion
We welcome any steps taken to help improve safety standards in the UK, with the ultimate aim of improving the situation for cyclists and – in turn – other drivers and road users too.

“Through our work we have represented injured victims and the families of cyclists killed as a result of collisions on the UK’s roads, we have seen first-hand the terrible consequences and risks that such road users can face.

“Cycling has arguably never been more popular in the UK following the many sporting successes and the Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire. However, it is vital that the growing number of people choosing to travel by bicycle is reflected in a more concerted effort to boost safety.”
Sion Kingston, Partner