YEP Says, October 18: Park and ride is on the right track but still has work to do

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...and why attitudes to disabled are stuck in the past

THE decision to choose Elland Road as the location for the city’s second park and ride site was not without its critics.

And public scepticism was reflected in dismal figures which showed just 28 cars a day were using it during its first week of operation in June.

So it is heartening that numbers are now picking up, with a daily average of around 180 cars using the site.

It has helped that the service is being heavily promoted so that more and more people now know it is there.

That work must continue, with potential users being made fully aware of the benefits to using the site rather than trying to drive into the city centre.

For many people, using the park and ride will save them time, money and aggravation – and these are the people that need to be coninced to give it a try.

But park and rides aren’t a magic bullet, wherever they are located. They are only one piece in the complex jigsaw that is Leeds’s transport network.

That is not to say that their potential contribution to cutting congestion should be underestimated or overlooked.

But if they are going to fulfil that potential then they need to be near to capacity on a regular basis.

On that front, the Elland Road site still has some way to go.

Attitudes to disabled are stuck in the past

WHEN Britain staged a hugely successful Paralympic Games two years ago, it was hailed as heralding a sea change in the way society views those with disabilities.

Two years on, it’s hard not to think such confidence was misplaced.

Leeds woman Maya Makri spoke of her anger at being told to leave a branch of Tesco in London because she had her guide dog with her.

Then you have public figures such as Welfare Minister Lord Freud apparently saying that people with disabilities are not worth the minimum wage.

As far as we have come in our attitudes to disabled people, it’s clear we still haven’t come far enough.

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