You may remember a few years ago I consulted with residents about making Holt Lane, from the junction with Holt Road to the junction with Cookridge Lane (effectively the part that runs parallel to the golf course), into a “Greenway” for pedestrians and cyclists only and residents access to the houses on Holt Lane itself. This did not go ahead at the time because there were a lot of objections to this and Highways wanted more support for it. However, during the lockdown residents have commented positively on the quietness of the lane until recently when traffic has started to build up again and also the emphasis that the Government are putting on increased pedestrian and cycle movements for both work and leisure purposes. Now that there is more traffic on the lane I have received a number of comments asking for either a lower speed limit to be introduced (again this has been requested but reasons are set out below) or for a reconsideration of a “Greenway”.
I would like to take this opportunity to ask if you would like Holt Lane to be made into a “Greenway “. The Traffic Engineer has provided some options below:
“You will recall that Traffic Engineering had previously suggested that Holt Lane could realistically be closed between the Golf Club and Holt Farm, creating a ‘Greenway’ that could be used by local residents for walking and cycling purposes and would have linked well to local public rights of way in the area. The further impact by cutting the through route between Holt Road and Cookridge Lane would be a dramatic reduction in traffic flow, as the only vehicles needing to be on the Lane would be those needing access to property. The effect would effectively be the whole Lane becoming a much easier and more pleasant route for walking and cycling.
You consulted locally and due to the number of objections raised it was felt the proposal could not be carried forward at that time.
We in Traffic Engineering would still support this measure being taken forward. Looking at the Connecting Leeds page where residents have been invited to leave comments, I can see that Holt Lane has received comments along the lines of making the route better for walking and cycling. I suspect that considering the current focus on improving walking and cycling, there may indeed be a shift in local opinion to such a scheme as previously suggested. As these comments have been raised on the Connecting Leeds page, they will be considered by colleagues in Transport Policy accordingly and I have already liaised with them regarding previous the Greenway suggestion. If there are still concerns regarding local opposition for example, there may be an opportunity to undertake a temporary scheme and monitor the local impact and hopefully demonstrate that the loss of Holt Lane as a through route is not detrimental to local accessibility.
I cannot say if they will determine to take a measure forward for Holt Lane, as that decision will be made upon assessing all suggestions across the district, but I trust you appreciate it has been raised with them.
In the event of Holt Lane remaining as a through route, the matter of the speed limit could be reassessed. You will recall that the 40mph speed limit is in place due to the current prevalent vehicle speeds noted on Holt Lane and the mean speed being above 30mph, thus meaning we cannot simply reduce the speed limit to the lower 30mph or below as desired without introducing traffic calming features. However, Holt Lane is not covered by street lighting and highway authorities are prohibited from installing vertical traffic calming features such as speed cushions on roads without street lighting. Subsequently we have no measure available to us to engineer in a lowering of vehicle speeds along the lane, without incurring significant expenditure by introducing street lighting along the route and this cannot be recommended at this time as that funding would be better focussed on locations with higher injury collision rates that require resolution. Upon resumption of some form of normality however, we can reassess the vehicle speeds along Holt Lane to determine if there has been a change along the route. Whilst there will always be a minority of drivers travelling at inappropriate speeds, these do not necessarily represent the overall picture. I will wait to see what determination is made regarding any proposal on Holt Lane before proceeding with such an assessment and notify you accordingly in the future.”