Losing car park killed Leeds Kirkgate Market, say out of pocket traders

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Parking issues are killing Kirkgate Market claim traders and shoppers.

Lack of spaces and rising costs are hitting both sides of the stalls in the pocket as shoppers are being driven away.




Some say they only come to the market once a year now as it is hard to park close by and veteran traders say they have seen custom drop by half in the last few years.

They blame the Victoria Gate and John Lewis developments which were built on a carpark just a stonesthrow from the market and say the alternatives are just too expensive.

The privately owned car park for Victoria Leeds costs £3 for one hour and £7 for three hours. To use the car park all day costs a pocket punching £30.

The parking woes, as well as other issues in the markets such as footfall, rents and marketing, are causing some traders to pack up for good.

Jack Fultons moved out last month followed by clothes stall Dress For Less.

Nicky Razi, runs family business Arras Fashions in the market hall who said parking above rents rows was the issue.

She said: “The parking more than anything has killed it. We noticed a big difference, it was already on a downward spiral but the car park was the end of it.

“Parking everywhere is just so expensive. What people save on shopping at the market, they spend on parking, but it is free at the supermarkets.

“I spoke to one chap who paid £16 for four hours and even for traders it has gone up from £96 a month to £160 for a month. It is a big issue.”

She suggested the creation of a short stay area just for market shoppers at £3 for two hours but even that might be too expensive for the market’s bread and butter shoppers argued another trader.

Geraldine Morris runs Everyday Essentials which has an original stall at Morley Market and she opened the Kirkgate one eight years ago.

She said: “Our takings have probably gone down 50 per cent since that went. It was short stay, it was cheap - people would park for an hour and come and go. On Saturday mornings we would get loads of people but we don’t get that any more.

“For the customers that come to this shop, they don’t want to pay £3.60.

“At Morley we get better custom because they can carry all their stuff to the car.”

See tomorrow’s article for reader feedback about the parking prices in the city centre.