City Square – Preliminary Works

Preliminary works to transform City Square into a more people-first environment will begin from Sunday 4 September.


The traffic management works will divert all through-traffic away from City Square, and will be in place from 4 September onwards – helping to create a world-class gateway to the city centre and making it an even safer place to live, work and visit. To complete the necessary works, keep buses moving, and to ensure the safety of the public and workers on site, increasing levels of traffic management will be in place.


From Sunday 4 September, only local access will be maintained for residents and businesses while work is happening. Access will be restricted for general traffic approaching City Square from Bishopgate Street, with cars having to turn right onto Boar Lane and Mill Hill and exit the city back down Neville Street. Motorists who currently travel to their destination by driving through the city centre will need to consider using several diversionary routes instead, using junctions 2 and 4, off the M621 and the inner ring road.


Access to the Leeds City Railway Station pick-up and drop-off (Princes Square) will be from the west of the city via Whitehall Road and Aire Street and not through City Square.

During the works, local access to residential and business properties (including loading) will be maintained via Infirmary Street from its junction with King Street. Motorists will then have to exit the Square via Quebec Street. Buses, cycles, and hackney carriages will still be able to access the square via bus gates.

View diversion routes here.

The Connecting Leeds transport strategy sets out a vision for Leeds ‘to be a city where you don’t need a car’ by creating infrastructure and spaces which favour healthier and more sustainable methods of travel. To do this, we need to divert some general traffic away from the centre giving sustainable travel modes better priority. Public consultation about these highways plans were carried out last summer and produced an overall positive response.


The removal of traffic from City Square is a big part of this, and once complete, will be a world-class gateway to the city centre from Leeds City Rail Station. Connecting Leeds’ highways improvements on City Square will bring more reliable public transport through the city, wider footways for pedestrians, safer options for cyclists, and an opportunity for additional public space.


The scheme will help to:

  • Create a world-class welcome for people arriving at Leeds City Rail Station and facilitate redevelopment of the station.
  • Facilitate the creation of a new public and events space at City Square.
  • Improve sustainable transport options and maximise their use by providing better routes and facilities for buses, pedestrians, and cyclists.
  • Reduce congestion, improve local air quality, and reduce noise in the city centre.

There will also be changes to some of the adjoining streets including Boar Lane, King Street, East Parade, Thirsk Row, Wellington Street, Aire Street and Quebec Street. This is to accommodate the changing traffic movements caused by the closure of the square. Connecting Leeds will be in touch with those who are affected by these works when necessary.


Find out more about the scheme here, including diversion routes.