By the 1950`s, Leeds had transformed itself
from a northern textile town to an industrial powerhouse. The motorcar was
increasing in popularity and Leeds found itself struggling to cope with the
amount of traffic on its roads.
Before the inner ring road, the city was basically a cross
roads. It had a North - South road, Briggate. And an East - West Road, The
Headrow. Over the previous 100 years Leeds had developed its main commercial
and retail area around this cross roads.
Leeds position on the map meant that it was
also a thoroughfare for traffic travelling between the cities of Liverpool,
Manchester, Bradford and Hull. The bulk of that traffic ended up travelling
down the Headrow. Leeds was slowly grinding to a halt.
Planners in Leeds were faced with one
question. How to get traffic through the city avoiding the city centre?
☼ By 1953 Over 40% of
traffic at the Briggate/Headrow junction was "through traffic" i.e. Passing
through the city.