Leeds city centre parking charges are entirely unsustainable - YEP letters

FROM: Coun Peter Gruen, Leeds

Monday, 24th August 2020, 6:00 am
Will pre-coronavirus shopping habits ever return to Leeds city centre - or will people prefer to go elsewhere? Picture: James Hardisty.

My wife and I ventured back into the city centre last week. Not been for simply too long. Very keen to do our bit to help.

We parked up in the John Lewis car park, wanting to be close by in case we made any purchases. We did and enjoyed window shopping too. We felt safe with most people moving about thoughtfully and carefully, sanitising hands and wearing face coverings.

We also spent some time having lunch, again well organised and safely distanced, with staff attentive to cleaning and other safety routines.

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And here comes the purpose of the tale.

When we returned to the John Lewis car park, our ticket came to £16! I ask you - do we live in a world of madness?

We have city leaders imploring us to visit the city centre, we have business bosses crying out for help to save the High Street, we have people dipping their toe in the water and seeing how it all is - and then sadly we also have car park operators who clearly lack any sense of responsibility and emotional intelligence by imposing vast parking charges, which are entirely unsustainable.

Wake up and smell the coffee; otherwise the Springs at Thorpe Park, a trip down the road to Wetherby or even Harrogate and Otley or Ilkley looks very attractive.

Most of these places either charge nothing or considerably less; some give a free two hours. And many more people have learnt that you don’t have to leave home at all!

Post Covid the world has changed and there is not much time left before temporary habits become permanent ones.