Don Your Way column: The bloke who designed Leeds must have been drunk

Come with me dear reader, as we take a trip into the dark side in this week's column.

Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 11:13 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 11:16 am
Driving in Leeds is an intimidating prospect for motorists.

You will have to forgive me, for this piece doesn’t focus on Doncaster, but instead our near neighbours up the A1 and M62 in West Yorkshire.

Yes, whisper it, we’re talking about Leeds.

There I said it.

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Now I know there’s no love lost between the two places and as a proud Doncastrian, I’ve had plenty of beef with what I believe they call Leodensians myself over the years.

Last week, I had cause to drive there for the first time in many years.

I’ve always been a confident driver and unlike some people, I’m not particularly fazed by motorways or city centre driving.

Before I travelled in Sheffield on a regular basis, tackling that particualr city’s routes used to fill me with dread.

However, as the years have progressed, I’m now pretty familiar and comfortable with traversing the Sheffield’s highways and byways.

Not so Leeds.

It is a city that I’ve occasionally had call to venture to via car and every time, it slips my mind just how horrendous it is.

Last week was no different.

I’ll say it here and I’ll say it now, Leeds is without doubt, the worst city in Britain to drive in (and I’ve driven in London plenty of times too).

I can only presume the bloke who invented its myriad of confusing junctions, underpasses and criss crossing roads was either drunk or inspired by a plate of spaghetti he was eating at the time.

You only have to mention it to other drivers and you can see them turning white at the thought, casting their mind back to where they’ve been thrust into a hell of driving up and down the same road seventeen times with only a sign directing them towards Hunslet for company.

There’s just something about the place that makes it intimidating. Maybe the high grey walls of the underpasses and slip roads help add to that air or forboding.

How many other cities do you know that have a motorway running slap bang through the middle of them? And that’s not to mention confusing signs for ring roads and city centre loops, just to add to the chaos and confusion.

I lost count of the number of times I was having to sneak into the right lane at the last moment - and the cacophony of beeping car horns from all around me as others did exactly the same suggested that this is a regular problem.

Yes, I guess if you drive there on a regular basis, it gets easier and you know where you are going, but I know Leeds residents who also end up weeping as they try to contend with the city’s road network.

I know people who even refuse to go there and let the train take the strain instead.

There must be something that can be done to make it an easier place to drive in and get around.

Sort it out please.