Main Street will be closed for major road works from January 5th. In this article, we explain what work is being done, why the closure is necessary, what the Parish Council has done to mitigate the inconvenience, and the alternative arrangements that it lobbied for and had put in place. 

What are the road works for? 

United Utilities is carrying out a programme to replace all large metal gas mains with more reliable plastic piping. The major gas main under Main Street has been judged to be a priority because of data readings from pressure tests and complaints of the smell of gas. 

Why is a road closure necessary? 

The original intention was to replace the gas main in stages, using single lane working and temporary traffic lights to keep the road open. Indeed, the first stretch between Brooklands and Laurel Close was carried out this way. However, a combination of the softness of the ground and the narrowness of the road (buses and commercial vehicles cannot keep to their side of the road in places) meant that there were real safety issues for workers and pedestrians (buses were having to mount footpaths to get past). The contractors felt they had no alternative but to apply for a total road closure. 

How long will the road be closed for? 

The contractors have asked for an eight-week closure, though they hope to need not more than five. There will still be further work to do after that, with minor road works along the full length and a stretch near Brooklands which can be done using temporary traffic lights. 

Was there no alternative to closure? 

The Parish Council asked the views of Leeds Highways on metal plates to cover the trenches at peak periods and keep peak hour traffic flowing. But it was advised that road plates take so much time to lay and remove that it might simply extend the ‘pain’ for much longer. 

Will the whole of Main Street be closed for the whole of the time? 

No. The work will be carried out in short lengths. Once it has progressed as far as The Old Star (after approximately two and a half weeks), then a through route would be possible again by using The Paddock as a diversion. This diversion route will not be publicised and Road Closed signs and bus diversions will remain in place. 

Will I still have access to my home? 

Yes. There will always be access to your home wherever it is. Sometimes you will only be able to access it from either the top or the bottom of the village, and not necessarily both. 

Can emergency services still reach me? 

Yes. All services have been given the information. Fire, police and ambulance services will know which way to access your home at all times. 

What about other services such as Royal Mail and Refuse Collection? 

They will be making alternative arrangements but maintaining services. If that means that your bin might be emptied on a different day, then we shall post details on this website as soon as we know. 

What about bus services? 

The normal 99 and 923 routes will be diverted away from the village. In the case of the 99, it will continue along the A58 between Bardsey (Bank Top) and Collingham. The 923 will be diverted via Wike. Its nearest point to the village will be Keswick Lane. A free shuttle bus (yes, you did see the word 'free') will operate every hour between East Keswick (Main Street/Moor Lane junction) and Wetherby (Bus Station). Its route will be along Whitegate, Harewood Road and the A58. The Parish Council was very concerned about how passengers for Leeds would cope and its suggestion for the bus timetable has been accepted. The shuttle bus times now allow connection at Collingham (Memorial Hall) with the X98 service to or from Leeds 

Shuttle Bus Timetable

Buses will leave Main Street at Moor Lane junction for Wetherby at these times:

0710SX, 0814 then every hour until 1814 (journeys connect at Collingham with X98 to Leeds)

Buses will leave Wetherby (Bus Station) for East Keswick at these times:

0741SX, 0841 then every hour until 1841 (provides connection at Collingham with X98 from Leeds)

SX: Not Saturdays

There is no evening or Sunday service.

What about school buses? 

Service B40 Boston Spa - shuttle bus will depart from Moor Lane/Main Street junction at 0810.

Service L60 Wetherby High - service will enter and leave the village from the north, picking up at Moor Lane/Main Street junction at 0823.

Service M73 Harrogate - shuttle bus will operate from Moor Lane/Main Street junction at 0745. Children will then change at Collingham.

Service M77 Harrogate - service will enter and leave the village from the north, picking up at Moor Lane/Main Street junction at 0750.

Service TG1 Tadcaster - service planned to call and turn round at Duke of Wellington lay-by.

Service W21 Wetherby St Josephs - shuttle bus will operate from Moor Lane/Main Street junction at 0824

What about the impact on businesses? 

The utility company has a statutory obligation to provide compensation to businesses which directly front the roadworks. The level of compensation is laid down in certain guidelines. Packs will be issued to all relevant businesses. Additional packs will be available from the Parish Council in January. 

How you can help

Metro asks for the assistance of all villagers in keeping the Main Street/Moor Lane junction clear to facilitate buses turning round and parking up during the road closure period. At peak periods, a number of school buses will also be turning round and departing from there over a short period.

If you live on The Paddock, you can help by not parking on the road during the 'diversion' period.

Please also consider if you have neighbours who may need special help during this period.

Still worried? 

If this article has not allayed all your fears then you can contact Northern Gas Networks Customer Services on 0845 634 0521, their Customer Liaison Officer Amanda White on 07825 539156 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

You can contact the contractors (Morgan Est) on 0845 634 0521 (daytimes) and 0151 373 4020 (overnights)

You can also contact the person at Leeds City Council Highways Department in charge of the road closure. He is Brian De-Lucchi on 0113 247 7576   

The Parish Council is ready to help too. You can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone Janet Thornton on 01937 572837 

 

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