Leeds City Council is continuing with plans to develop park and ride schemes across the city as part of its strategy to reduce carbon emissions and tackle congestion in the city centre.
A report to the council’s executive board says the park and ride schemes are essential to cope with increased commuter traffic generated by new developments which are expected to open as Leeds recovers from the recession. The number of jobs in the city centre is predicted to rise by up to 23,000 by 2026, generating an estimated 10,000 additional peak-time morning and evening commuting trips.
Park and ride schemes encourage shoppers and businesses into the city centre, reduce congestion and pollution and mean valuable city centre land and access roads are not taken up with car parking.
The report says plans for new stations at Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge include parking but there is a need to develop more alternative arrangements to reduce congestion in and around the city.
The council recently agreed to give temporary authorisation to a number of car parks in the south west of the city which had previously been operating unofficially. However these permissions will expire within a maximum of five years and the council is keen to offer commuters and shoppers high quality alternative provision in line with its overall transport policy to reduce car use in the city centre while supporting local businesses.
The report identifies two sites – one at Elland Road and the other within the Aire Valley - as suitable for short term park and ride development.
The report suggests that, whilst new park and ride sites can cost between £5m and £10m to develop, a lower cost scheme could be developed on existing car parks adjacent to the Elland Road stadium. A park and ride scheme for 500-1,000 cars could be delivered there for around £2m in 2013. It is thought this could be self-financing within five years.
A further site next to the East Leeds Link could also be developed in the short term which would also provide an attractive bus service enabling employees to reach the proposed developments in the Aire Valley Leeds Enterprise Zone. This site could accommodate between 600 and 1000 cars.
Cllr Richard Lewis , Leeds City Council’s executive board member for development and economy said:
“Park and ride schemes are a key part of our local transport strategy reducing congestion in the city and improving journey times for travellers. The ability to move quickly and easily across the city is essential for the city’s economy. Good transport encourages commuters, residents and visitors to come in to the city centre for work, shopping and leisure.
“That’s why it is important that we consider carefully where the park and ride sites should be developed so that people can make the most of the facilities in the future.”
For media enquiries, please contact;
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937