Anger as Leeds car parks close

The closure of seven all-day car parks will end cheap city parking and bring "misery" to thousands of workers.

Around 2,500 long-stay car parking spaces that serve Holbeck Urban Village by Bridgewater Place, south of the city centre, will cease operating in the New Year.

Typically the sites, which are located off Globe Road, Sweet Street, Trent Street, Ingram Street, Ingram Row and Water Lane, charge 3.50 for the day.

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The car parks – which do not have planning permission – will close from the middle of January.

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Commuters will have to park further away – for up to four times the cost – or switch to public transport.

Owners of the car parking sites lost at appeal at the council's city centre plans panel on Friday after it was decided that long-stay parking went against policies to reduce congestion.

Commuter Martin Burrow, who uses the Sweet Street car park, said: "The closure of this car park is going to cause misery to thousands of workers who work south of the River Aire.

"Myself and my partner drop our daughter at school in the morning, and then car share (to work].

"(We] leave promptly in an evening to collect our daughter from school.

"The proposed closure will make it practically impossible for us to continue with this routine, and quite honestly we don't know what alternative we have available to us."

Office administrator Susan Wood (have picture], who travels from Pudsey to work in Holbeck five days a week, told the YEP she will not stop driving to work as public transport is inconvenient and unreliable.

She said: "It would take two buses and about an hour to get to work, when driving takes 20 minutes."

Nearby carparks include the NCP on Boar Lane, which charges 14.90 for stays up to 12 hours and has 630 spaces; Q Park off Sovereign Street which charges 12 for up to 10 hours and has 499 spaces; and Town Centre Securities on Whitehall Road which charges 7.50 for the day and has 62 spaces.

The City Council decided that a reduction in the number of long stay commuter car parking spaces in the city centre would:

* encourage people out of cars

* reduce morning peak time congestion

* promote more sustainable travel choices such as bus and train travel, and park and ride solutions

* reduce the contribution to climate change

* make park and ride facilities, bus corridors and the anticipated

Leeds City Train station's southern entrance more viable.

Coun Elizabeth Nash (Lab, City and Hunslet) told the council's city centre plans panel that the city lacked a tram or trolleybus system and two suburban ralway stations proposed for the Aire Valley were on hold.

Coun Graham Latty (Con Rawdon and Guiseley) said: "I don't welcome the disappearance of car parking in Leeds. We must start planning for more park and ride or there will be trouble in store."

All seven long stay car parks were set up on vacant plots of land up from five to nine years ago.

Four of the unauthorised car parks will be allowed to continue as a short stay service, subject to conditions such as charging drivers 25 for stays of more than five hours.

The remaining three sites will close.

Holbeck Urban Village was developed in a bid to create new opportunities for employment, living and leisure.

The area employs thousands of people, and is popular with shoppers and visitors to its restaurants, pubs and sandwich bars.

Terrier Racing.
John Aldridge and his terrier's Rocky and Spud.
20 June 2017.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

The splendidly unpredictably world of terrier racing in Yorkshire