YEP Says, July 31: Park and ride site now needs to justify its £2.8m price tag

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...and a reminder of the risks facing police officers

LEEDS needs to find a transport strategy that tackles the twin issues of congestion and a lack of parking spaces in the city centre.

Park and ride sites have a place in that plan, but they’re no magic bullet – as we’re now discovering.

However, despite the spectacularly small number of motorists using the new facility at Elland Road, the council (in conjunction with bus firm First and the newly-formed West Yorkshire Combined Authority) weren’t necessarily wrong to open it.

The question is more whether they chose the right place. The numbers so far suggest they didn’t.

Latest figures show an average of just 28 cars a day are using the site, which has space for 800.

True, it was packed out for the Grand Depart, but since then it has been struggling. And it won’t help that it can’t be used on Saturdays when Leeds United are playing at home – the very day when it would be expected that demand would be peak.

As the council says, it’s still early days and too soon to judge whether or not the site will be a success.

But if usage levels are to become respectable, much more needs to be done in terms of promoting it and providing sufficient incentives for people to use it.

Otherwise there is a danger that it could turn into a £2.8m white elephant – and cast serious doubt on the other new park and ride site that has already been earmarked for Temple Newsam.

Reminder of the risks facing police officers

BY some miracle, WPC Suzanne Hudson survived being blasted in the neck at close range by deranged gunman James Leslie.

But the shooting last December could so easily have ended in tragedy – and highlights the dangers and uncertainties police officers face on a daily basis.

Leslie is now where he belongs – behind bars, while brave Suzanne is trying to put the incident behind her.

It’s a reminder that although the police sometimes come in for criticism, we should never forget the risks they run keeping us safe.

Despite this, we should continue to resist calls to arm them routinely – that would only make it worse.

11 Jan 2018.... Dave Jones who has been nominated by his colleagues as part of the We Love Our NHS YEP campaign. Picture Scott Merrylees

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