Leeds City Centre is an interesting place, what with one and a half inner ring roads and a council that aren't quite sure how to make road signs or what to put on them. Visitors are confused and rightly so! Ask anyone from Leeds how to get from Edward Street car park onto York Road without making a prohibited right turn on Regent Street and they'll think for a while and probably agree that actually, you can't, short of driving a couple of miles out of your way.
Distinct from the Inner Ring Road is the City Centre Loop, a rough circle of city centre one-way streets cobbled together in the mid 1990s when it became apparent the Inner Ring would never be finished. The whole thing involved the altering of so many streets and junctions that a surprising number of people still have no idea how to get from A to B.
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The Inner Ring Road
Curving in a semi-circle around the north and west of the city centre is this — the Inner Ring Road. One of those rare things, an urban motorway, it's entirely sunken into a trench like this. In this photo is one of its unusual junctions — a right-hand slip road.
Leeds City Council run the Inner Ring and like to make up their own way of signing it. So advance direction signs are done away with, any tiny fonts are the order of the day. I don't think road numbers on any sign are in the correct "Motorway Permanent" font — like here, they're just in the normal Transport alphabets.
The road has two numbers — A58(M) and A64(M). The A64(M) is somewhere just over 600 yards long, starting at the A58 overpass and ending at the A61 where the A64 proper starts. This photo shows the entire motorway — ladies and gentlemen, the shortest motorway in the country.
This is at the Westgate junction on the A58(M), looking eastbound. The Inner Ring has a 40mph speed limit, mostly due to its frequent sharp corners, sudden turns, lack of crash barriers and tight junctions. It does the job it was intended to do admirably though, and whizzes trafic past the city centre without even touching a city street.
The City Centre Loop
How not to make a clear "loop" — if the route and junction alterations weren't confusing enough, signs like this — at almost every junction — don't ease confusion. In three lanes of fast moving local traffic switching lanes before the next traffic lights, how is soemone unfamiliar with the junction supposed to find their lane?
The whole route of the Loop is decked out in fancy street lights like these, and also fancy signs and railings. There doesn't seem to be much point to this since a nice looking street light doesn't help navigation (though having said that, these lights aren't even particularly nice).
Rather than being machine cut this one looks a bit too home-made. The chevron is wonky and joins up with the border — oops.
Two traffic lights in a centre island serve two lanes of traffic, one each side. How do you stop drivers from getting confused about which light is directing them? Well, the Leeds City Council engineers know a way — twist the lamp shades round. Look closely and you'll see what I mean!
Cyclist lights put up to confuse cyclists here. Both are pointing at the same cycle lane just outside the Town Hall, but neither is facing the same way or has its arrow pointing the same way. I've never seen anyone on a bike here anyway, which makes these a bit of a waste of money.
And finally, the Ordnance Survey supply maps to the LCC signing department. They must do, because someone's been copying too closely and has written "A660T" on this sign!