You wait years for a major park-and-ride scheme in Leeds... then two come along at once.
An 800-space site next to Leeds United’s Elland Road ground opened its gates for the first time this morning.
And, just a few hours later, Leeds City Council bosses announced that another park-and-ride facility is expected to get the green light at a meeting taking place on Wednesday.
Should it receive the go-ahead, the 1,000-space site will be located in the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone, near Temple Newsam.
Work on the project is due to begin in April with a view to completion late next year.
Coun Richard Lewis, the council’s executive board member for economy and development, said: “This scheme is both a milestone in the development of the enterprise zone and represents another step on the road to providing a network of park-and-ride sites across the city, easing congestion and cutting pollution in the centre.
“I don’t think many people relish city centre driving and park-and-ride is a very good way to avoid the stress involved, whilst at the same time helping to cut pollution.
“An added advantage is that the cost of parking and riding is often less than city centre parking.
“As the city continues to recover from the recession we have to take measures to prevent traffic growth creating further congestion.
“Now we have many residents in the city centre we have to give them a pleasant environment.”
The Elland Road site has had a slow start to life, with just 30 or so of its spaces filled at one stage today.
Shuttle bus services are running between the site and the city centre every 10 minutes from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday – except on Saturdays when United are playing at home. Regular return fares are priced from £2.70.
The £2.8m scheme is a collaboration between the council, bus firm First and the recently-formed West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).
The Aire Valley site would be built by the council but financed through the WYCA.
Launched with Government backing in 2012, the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone has been aiming to attract investment by offering reduced business rates worth up to £275,000 over five years.
Two more park-and-rides will be constructed at Lawnswood and Stourton if Leeds’s trolleybus system wins approval.