Kirkstall Forge: Leeds council confirm 'no plans' for new Park and Ride service to be built at £400m office site
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Former Leeds MP, Michael Meadowcroft, is leading calls for the local authority to consider bringing a Park and Ride service to Kirkstall Forge, in a “missed opportunity” move campaigners say would “significantly” cut congestion on one of the city's main commuter routes.
Number One Kirkstall Forge, was designed to welcome around 300,000 sq ft of offices, 100,000 sq ft of retail and 1,500 new home – and came at an investment of £400m, but with dedicated transport links already in place, council confirmed there are currently “no plans for a bus based park & ride service in this corridor.”
A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “Park & ride at rail stations is in high demand across West Yorkshire. The Combined Authority has a programme of station car park expansions which have been delivered in recent years, including at New Pudsey and Garforth.
“Kirkstall Forge has 120 parking spaces, however there is balance needed in the space used for car parking and the need for housing and employment uses at this site. Being relatively close to Leeds city centre it is not an ideal site for park & ride.
“Sites on the edge of the urban area are a better location such as Apperley Bridge (98 spaces), New Pudsey (271 spaces) and the proposed Airport Parkway (up to 350 spaces) to intercept longer distance commuters and reduce traffic volumes on a greater extent of the network. At the present time, there are no plans for a bus based park & ride service in this corridor because of the existing rail connections and bus services.”
The multi-million pound site currently features a dedicated train stop after Kirkstall Forge station opened in 2016 at a cost of £16 million and in June, Network Rail and Northern submitted a planning application to extend both platforms by 48 metres to allow the station to cater to larger six-car trains.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority has said that they are “in the process of reviewing our Park and Ride strategy” and that “significant” improvements had been made to the connectivity of Kirkstall in recent years.