Otley Road is the most dangerous place in Leeds for cyclists.

The A660, a 10-mile stretch from the city centre through Headingley and up to Otley, consistently has the highest number of accidents involving cyclists in Leeds. From 2012 until early 2017, there were 182 accidents involving cyclists on the stretch, including 28 serious accidents, according to data obtained under Freedom of Information laws. It's a popular route, particularly with students heading to university, but with a lack of cycling infrastructure, several crowded junctions and the roundabout at Lawnswood School, it can be hazardous.

Cycling along Otley Road, close to the Pack Horse pub.

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I rode part of the route with Leeds Cycling Campaign member Chris Foren in rush hour during the week to get a sense of what it's like. I'm a reasonably confident cyclist, but with only a broken white line - meaning cars are allowed to park in the cycle lane - to protect you, I can see why many are put off. Buses frequently pull in and out at bus stops, requiring constant vigilance and a keen eye on traffic coming up behind you.

Things get a little tricky at the Hyde Park Corner junction - there's very little room and we're stuck behind a large van at the lights, always a dangerous place to be as a cyclist as large vehicles turning left at junctions cause the most collisions and injuries - and deaths. How the Trolleybus might have looked on Otley Road. On a positive note, we see a fair few other cyclists, but you can't help feel there would be many more if people felt it was safe to do.

Chris, who cycles the route regularly, wanted to show me how Otley Road could be improved for cyclists. It's an ambitious plan which involves building segregated cycle lanes from the Lawnswood Roundabout all the way into the city centre. He ventures that cyclists could be taken off the main road altogether using the planned route of the failed trolleybus scheme - going round the back of the Arndale Centre, behind the Original Oak pub and across the fields at the rear of St Columba church - before rejoining the road.

Banning the right turn at Hyde Park Corner could increase space for cycling, and separating car traffic near the Parkinson Building has been suggested in the past. "This is a bold proposal," said Chris. "It won't be cheap to build, though still a lot cheaper than building a new road. "It will involve taking some road space from car drivers, and that's not politically popular.

But something has to be done - Leeds is the third worst city in the UK for air quality. "There are several thousand students living in and around Headingley - many want to use a bike but are too frightened to do so. And a reduction in motor traffic will also make life more pleasant for pedestrians.

"The city council must make cycling feel safe for ordinary people.

The A660 is the ideal place to start."

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