Leeds City Council's u-turn on car parks closures

An urgent review of Leeds city centre car parking will go ahead after YEP readers came out in force to criticise plans to shut seven all-day car parks.

Commuters said the loss of 2,500 cheap long-stay parking spaces would hit them in the pocket when Globe Road, Sweet Street, Trent Street, Ingram Street, Ingram Row and Water Lane car parks in Holbeck close in January.

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The move will not encourage drivers onto public transport or cut congestion, you told us.

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Richard Serra of Leeds Chambers added that the decision would damage the city's economy.

The car parks were shut down as they were unauthorised - the owners did

not have planning permission to operate them.

They sprung up on developers' land in answer to the growing residential, business and leisure community located at Holbeck Urban Village.

Coun Richard Lewis, executive member responsible for city development, said: "The council understands the importance of long-stay car parking spaces for many commuters working in the city.

"At a time of economic difficulty we recognise the vital need to support the local economy.

"The decision of the planning inspector is the end of a process that started in 2006. However, it does not come into force until the New Year.

"We will be conducting an urgent review of long-stay car parking in this period to look at what the council can do to make sure adequate long-stay car parking facilities are available."

The YEP revealed that alternative long-stay parking spaces are available, but that they will cost motorists up to four times more.

Nearby car parks include the NCP on Boar Lane, which charges 14.90 for stays of 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.

Four of the unauthorised car parks will be allowed to operate a short-stay car service.

But in a bid to get commuters off the roads and onto public transport, drivers will be charged 25 for stays over five hours.

The rest will close.

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