MOORTOWN’S community leaders are warning a confusing parking “free-for-all” outside shops on Harrogate Road is putting pedestrians’ safety at risk.
They say a narrow strip of asphalt which separates front doors from parking bays on Moortown Corner forces shoppers to step into the path of passing vehicles - often while drivers are distracted from parking.
On a neighbouring parade of shops, where a narrow pavement does exist, traders claim drivers are also frequently forced to mount the kerb to negotiate around other parked vehicles.
No entry signs at one end of the parade have also disappeared recently, and drivers are now seen entering and leaving from both ends.
Val Cain, of Moortown Community Group, said: “Our main concern is that it could just be a matter of time before someone is seriously injured - or worse.
“I have already seen one elderly lady knocked down by a reversing taxi.
“She suffered a broken collar bone but, if you use the shops quite often, you will see so many other near misses.”
A meeting has recently taken place with ward councillors and a representative from Leeds City Council’s highways team, despite both the parking bays and asphalt strip directly outside the shops being on private land.
Yet the nearby pavement between the road and parking bays - which is owned by Leeds City Council - is rarely used.
Jon Pedlar, also a member of Moortown Community Group, said: “We accept the council doesn’t have free rein but, if we’re going to get a solution, someone needs to take charge and drive it.
“We want Moortown to be family friendly but that’s going to be harder to achieve while we have narrow pavements - or none at all - immediately outside the shops while, just three metres away, there’s another much wider ones adjacent to the main road that hardly anyone uses.”
WHAT THE COUNCIL HAS SAID
THE Moortown Community Group has already arranged a site meeting with Leeds City Council to demonstrate the risks and, in September, held a public meeting to debate the issue.
Although a consensus was reached that action was required, community group leaders say they are anxious to keep up the momentum.
A spokesman for Leeds City Council told the YEP: “Leeds council’s highways team has already been in touch with the community group and is looking to support attempts to make the area safer.
“As the land involved is in private ownership we will continue to work with tenants, residents and the local community to find solutions which are effective in conjunction with the owners of the land.”