Leeds: Shoppers 'abandoning district centre over parking woes'

Traders on a Leeds high street say their businesses are suffering "monumentally" because of parking problems after a regeneration project.

Shoppers were faced with nearly a year of disruption while parts of Yeadon's High Street were closed for redevelopment.

Traders claim they lost at least half of their customers while the regeneration project was carried out almost two years ago.

And over a year later, they say business still hasn't picked up because

of the lack of parking spaces and crumbling roads.

Susan Peat, owner of The Vegetable Patch is closing her doors after eight years, but is still hoping to continue a delivery service.

"It is a sorry state of affairs," she said. "The street hasn't got any better and nothing has improved.

"A lot of people come to Yeadon because it has a nice high street but they are going somewhere else now.

"It is sad because there used to be six greengrocers on the High Street but we are the last one so when we go that's it.

"The worst thing that the council did was to remove a lot of the parking areas. It is this that has had a monumental effect on our business."

Nicola Davison, who runs furniture company Kettley's, added: "The parking is absolutely horrendous and you can see people outside driving around in circles because there's nowhere to park.

"We don't know how many have given up and not come back.

"Business is hard as it is and this is just really giving us more to work against."

A council spokesman said: "The regeneration of Yeadon High Street has made it a more attractive environment for both local shoppers and traders.

"The landscaping, new wider footpaths, and heritage style street furniture have made it a more pedestrian friendly area while the nearby parking, combined with new signs means it can be accessed easily by car.

"Town centres are vital to the development of the city and as people begin to increasingly think about shopping locally and supporting small businesses, the council has to make sure they are the best they can

possibly be.

"We are confident the improvements will help support local businesses by increasing the footfall and desirability of Yeadon town centre."

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