YEP Letters: July 27

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Employers in Leeds could soon be landed with a workplace ‘parking tax’ if they provide free parking for their staff. The measure is the latest in a raft of ideas being put forward by Leeds City Council to cut air pollution and reduce traffic congestion. As previously reported Leeds has been named one of the UK’s worst air pollution hotspots and is one of five cities ordered by the Government to introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) by 2020. According to latest figures around 680 deaths a year in Leeds are attributable to air pollution. We asked YEP readers what they think about the proposal and here’s what some of them said on social media...

Sean Comstive

Taxed why? So the gouvernment and local authorities can subsidise the cuts and keep the pay rises coming in? It needs to stop all this taxation, be taxing us for the street lighting we receive next.

Murray Craigen

Perhaps if they didn’t build retail parks at every major junction, there wouldn’t be so much congestion.

Perhaps if they build new roads alongside the new housing developments they keep allowing to fly through planning, there wouldn’t be so much congestion.

As for paying to park at work, I was offered a job in Halifax where you had to pay £6 per day to park.I took the job in Leeds. Besides, what about disabled people who don’t qualify for blue badges who maybe don’t earn a fortune anyway. It may well cause them to give up work.

On top of which, in the part of Leeds where I work we see open crime being committed on the streets just about every day.

I’d prefer to see those issues addressed rather than having to pay more tax to the council who dream up new ways of raising revenue every day, but can’t dream up a way of dealing with crime and antisocial behaviour.

Judith Gothard

Charge a £1 a day parking so it’s not free then no tax, simple. The money could be donated to a local charity too.

Antony Sykes

Leeds must be one of the biggest cities in Europe without a tram or a subway system. If they actually gave people an alternative to driving it may reduce the volume of traffic.

Josh Wilson

If Leeds City Council just stopped spending money hand over fist on things people don’t want (the huge potted plants all over City Square and Armley and all that new cladding over the flats in Lovell Park and Beeston for example) and pumped it into things the majority of the city want (schools and road repairs are a prime example) then they’d have a lot more money to spare instead of taxing people to breaking point for vanity projects.

Adrian Jordan

What about people who have no choice but to drive in to work? I’m a paramedic and work all kinds of shifts, most of which I couldn’t get to or get home from on public transport....and even if I could, at the end of a 12 hour shift (which is normally more like 13 hours) I really don’t want to be walking to a bus stop, waiting for a bus, changing for either another bus or a train, then switching to another bus (which is the route I would have to take). Not to mention how long it would take...20 minutes by car or about two hours by public transport. It’s even worse in some areas, Sherburn In Elmet doesn’t have very good public transport at all...certainly couldn’t use it to get to work on a Sunday if you worked in Leeds.

Kevin Dransfield

Implemented in Nottingham where they spent money on a tram scheme but Leeds isn’t worthy. It’s a stealth tax. Punishes those who work unusual shifts or in remote locations where public transport doesn’t cover.

Simon Aspinall

Three options....knock down buildings for more space for trams or light rail, flying hover cars or reduce private motorised traffic.

The third option could be a voluntary thing which no-one would ever do hence the charge. To be fair lcc is a very connected place to the majority of outlying areas by bus or rail so those coming from the commuter belt could do it. If those that could actually did then there would be no problem for those that genuinely needed to drive.

Jaymie Leigh Adams

If this happens I’ll have to find a different job. I pay more than enough tax as it is without paying more tax to enable me to safely get to and from work. What a joke!

George Rokita

I started work this morning at 4am in Leeds city centre, do I have any other choice then using my car, definitely no buses at that time. Ransom tax.

Alastair Marshall

Slower speed limits? LCC road planning is ridiculous, the city practically grinds to a halt at rush hour. They need to ease the flow of traffic rather than putting in measures that increase journey times and keep people sitting still with their engines running for longer.

Phil Heppenstall

Charging people to park at work won’t cut pollution. They’ll pay the money as public transport is no alternative for most people. I can either drive for 30 mins from Heckmondwike to Stourton or get two buses that takes about three times as long. Or two buses and a train which isn’t any quicker.

Joshua Clarke

Make public transport cheaper, reliable and more efficient. That would stop me driving in to work and potentially others.

Nick Lojik, via website

Before I retired I worked in the outskirts of Leeds.

My route took me along the inner ring road which was regularly gridlocked. However as I travelled by motorcycle I was never delayed as I was able to filter legally (riding alone the middle between the two lanes of the dual carriageway).

Several of my colleagues also travelled by motorcycle and we were able to comfortably fit three bikes in the space of one car. If more people used a motorbike or scooter instead of the car congestion would dramatically reduce particularly as the majority of cars only have one occupat.

There would also be a reduction in pollution, fuel costs and road wear.

LUFC 82 - take 2, via website

I’ve just returned from holiday in Barcelona, the streets there were rarely gridlocked.

Why? Because they have an amazing underground Metro system in place, which is reasonably priced - a single ticket costs 2 Euros 15 cents, and that covers your journey whether it be one stop or five stops with two changes.

There are also multi-day tickets available. During peak times, the trains ran once every five mins.

The only way that we’re going to solve both the air and transport problem for Leeds is to spend big, and go underground. The £173m being spent on extra stations etc will not even scratch the surface.

STUkrugen,via website

Isn’t this just typical?

Yes, let’s tackle pollution by hitting people in the pockets when they have no reliable affordable alternatives in place? How pathetic! Let’s force everyone onto a public transport system that already cannot cope and sin’t reliable. How many times has my wirfe been late home from work because a bus just doesn’t bother to turn up at peak times? How many times do we have to get up at the crack of dawn just to get to work on a bus that tries to serve every nook and cranny of every estate in Yorkshire? Why does no one realise they are tackling this completely the wrong way around?