Leeds City Council accused of ‘sneaking’ in parking charges

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Council chiefs have been accused of “sneakily” extending controversial parking charges to eight Leeds off-street car parks.

Jamie Lee, who commutes to Leeds, has flagged up the fact that Sunday and evening charges introduced on city centre streets have now also been instated in car parks such as Quarry Hill and Hunslet Lane. Leeds City Council stated the decision to bring parking charges “into line” at off-street facilities was made by a highways panel and did not go for debate at executive board level. A spokesman said the planned charges were advertised to the legal standard.

Mr Lee, 53, told the YEP: “I think they’ve covered their backs and done it sneakily. With the night-time economy, to go for meals and things, people don’t expect to pay to park.”

In an email to opposition councillors, he urged them to call on the council to temporarily cease off-street Sunday and evening charges until the public are properly consulted.

The news comes after almost 2,500 parking tickets were issued within the first month of the controversial new charges for on-street city centre parking being introduced.

Campaigners have called on the council to rethink the charges.

Businessman Peter Connolly, who led a petition to have the charges rescinded, said: “It’s just treating car parking as a cash cow.”

Other parking lots affected are Burley Road, Leeds International Pool, Meadow Lane, The Markets and West Street.

Lib Dem leader Coun Stewart Golton said: “The council needs to get its advertising in order. A lot of people have been unnecessarily punished.”

A council spokesman said the decision, made after a 21-day consultation, was taken to ensure it could “effectively manage demand” for spaces.

He said: “It would be impractical for all decisions to be taken by the executive board, and the correct legal processes were followed by the council.”

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