Friday, 3 December 2010

VIDEO: Leeds ‘open for business’ despite the snow

A video featuring Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan, Councillor Richard Lewis, executive board member for highways and Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive board member with responsibility for leisure and culture matters.

To download this video, please RIGHT click on this link ( and select 'save target as'

Leeds ‘open for business’ despite the snow

Leeds City Council, shops and businesses are sending a clear message today – ‘our city is open for business’, despite the snow which has blanketed a large part of Yorkshire.

This weekend is expected to be one of the busiest for retailers as thousands of people descend on Leeds to begin, or complete, their Christmas shopping.

To make sure shoppers can get around safely, council staff have been working hard to clear snow and ice from pavements and footpaths.

A team of 50 from the parks and countryside and highways teams, armed with shovels, brushes and bucket loads of grit have been concentrating their efforts in streets around Briggate – the city’s main shopping area.

Other workers – who’ve been diverted from their normal duties because of the bad weather – have been doing the same in Leeds’ other town and district centres.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive board member with responsibility for keeping Leeds moving said:

“Our staff have been working around the clock to keep the main roads clear and the city moving, and despite finite resources, their efforts have paid off.

“That’s why we want to get the message out that Leeds is open for business and Christmas shoppers are welcome here, safe in the knowledge they will be able to get around with ease.”

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive member with responsibility for culture and leisure matters said:

“With the work that’s been going on to try and keep the city on the move, I’m confident Christmas in Leeds will be fantastic.

“There is so much happening in the city at the moment and plenty to do for shoppers and visitors alike.

“We have organised a packed calendar creating the perfect family build-up to Christmas.

“With so much to choose from there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.”

Gordon Jackson, chair of Leeds hotels association said:

“This time of year is traditionally a very busy time for the hospitality sector with most of us gearing up for the Christmas party season.

“Leeds is a fantastic city to visit during the festive period; the shopping experience is second to none and the city lights and German Christmas market does make a visit truly memorable.

“We are all anxious that the city is at its best for visitors during this time.

“We are delighted that Leeds City Council has been doing what it can to keep the city centre clear of snow.

It is making a real difference and is assisting in making the experience more pleasureable for visitors”.

Laurie Barton-Wright, chair of Leeds retail association said:

“It’s a very important time for high street retailers with now being the time to push for Christmas sales, so it is fantastic that Leeds City Council is doing all it can to support them.

“Along with the Christmas lights and Christmas market, shoppers can also be assured that the city centre will offer both a festive and safe environment for them to enjoy despite the chilly weather.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Andy Carter, Leeds City Council (0113) 395 0393

Notes to editors

Here is an example of some of the events taking place


The council’s 30 gritting lorries have been working around the clock since the weekend to try and keep roads cleared after inches of snow fell. Operating out of three depots, they’ve spread a total of 5,500 tonnes of grit so far.

That has been used to keep priority routes open covering 800 miles of bus routes, ‘A’ and ‘B’ roads, commuter routes and those used by commercial vehicles.

On Monday night and Tuesday morning, gritting and ploughing teams were our continuously as road temperatures plunged to -10 degrees celcius.

Match day parking costs to rise for first time in four years

The cost of parking around Elland Road during match days is to rise in the New Year.

Leeds City Council is informing Leeds United fans a month in advance to give them enough warning before the change. Posters will be going up around the ground during home matches from this weekend’s fixture with Crystal Palace.

More than 1,900 vehicles use the five car-parks around Elland Road on match days, depending on the fixture, with a maximum capacity of 3,650.

Under the new plans, the charge for cars will rise from £5 to £6, the charge for mini-coaches will go from £10 to £12, and there will be a £5 increase for coaches making the cost £20.

The charge has remained the same for the past four years but includes VAT, which is set to rise in the New Year.

Adverts will be out up around the ground for the home matches of 4, 18 and 28 December, with the new charges to come into force on 1 January for the match against Middlesbrough. The council has discussed the changes with the club, West Yorkshire Police, and the football licensing authority.

Martin Farrington, Leeds City Council’s acting director of city development, said:
“Leeds United and Elland Road are an intrinsic part of Leeds and we obviously would not want to do anything that would put people off from going and supporting their team at home.
“However, it has been four years since any rise in the cost of parking for matches at Elland Road and not only have our costs increased significantly but we are also reluctantly having to accommodate a rise in VAT.
“We have tried to keep the rise to a minimum while ensuring we can continue to provide thousands of parking spaces close to the ground for match days.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937