Friday, 2 September 2011

Plans for the future of unauthorised city centre car parks

Plans to regulate the spread of unregulated city centre car parks in Leeds and help reduce congestion will come before senior councillors next week.

At a meeting of Leeds City Council’s Executive Board on Wednesday 7 September officers will recommend that a number of previously unauthorised parking spaces are made legitimate as long as improvements are made to their appearance and security.

The overall number of spaces at these car parks will be limited to 3200 to ensure that commuting by car into Leeds does not increase and add to congestion on the roads into the city centre.

The recommendation follows council proposals last year to take enforcement action against unauthorised car parks in the city centre, containing around 1,900 parking spaces. However, it was recognised that an immediate clamp down would penalise commuters who have not had the benefit of previously-anticipated public transport improvements.

Since then the council has consulted widely with both commuters and car park operators on the best way forward.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member responsible for city development, said:
“We listened to the concerns of commuters, businesses and the car park operators and understand that these car parks provide valuable commuter car parking spaces, particularly around the south side of the city centre, and that this can help support local businesses.

“It is also the case that major public transport schemes which were anticipated – such as Supertram and the park and ride proposals– have not yet materialised.

“However, the council has a duty to tackle the congestion caused by cars coming into the city centre to park. This is to reduce pollution in the city and meet targets to reduce carbon emissions.

“The 3,200 cap on spaces will help control the number of cars coming into the city, encourage more people to use the city’s existing public transport and improve the appearance, security and appearance of the city’s car parks.

“ We look forward to working with the car park operators to deliver this.”

Notes to editors:
Copies of the Executive Board report on the Informal City Centre Commuter Car Parking Policy are available on the council website at www.leeds.gov.uk.
Ends

For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk