Monday, 23 June 2014

Second park-and-ride scheme unveiled

Plans have been announced for the city’s biggest park-and-ride yet.

The scheme to underwrite the purchase of land for a 1000-space facility in the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone is expected to be given the green light by Leeds City Council leaders at a meeting on Wednesday 25 June.

Located close to the east Leeds link road the park-and-ride at Temple Green, the biggest of the four development sites in the enterprise zone will be accessed by Bell Wood roundabout.

The new park-and-ride facility, expected to be operational by late 2015, will be built by the council but is being funded through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s planned West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund.

It forms a key part of a strategy for reducing traffic congestion in Leeds and encouraging commuters to switch to more sustainable modes of travel.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for economy and development, said:

“This scheme is both a milestone in the development of the Enterprise Zone and represents another step on the road to providing a network of park-and-ride sites across the city, easing congestion and cutting pollution in the centre.

“I don’t think many people relish city centre driving and park-and-ride is a very good way to avoid the stress involved, whilst at the same time helping to cut pollution. An added advantage is that the cost of parking and riding is often less than city centre parking.

“As the city continues to recover from the recession we have to take measures to prevent traffic growth creating further congestion. Now we have many residents in the city centre we have to give them a pleasant environment.”

Councillor James Lewis, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee chair, said:

“This development at Aire Valley will complement the 4,500-plus existing spaces at West Yorkshire’s rail stations and the 800-space facility at Elland Road which opened this week.

“Park-and-ride has proved successful in making journeys for people in West Yorkshire easier and reducing congestion, which in turn benefits businesses and the local economy.

“People using the Elland Road facility are already taking advantage of MCard smartcard discounts for regular journeys and enjoying quick and easy travel to and from Leeds city centre on new, Wi-Fi-enabled buses.”

The new site will complement a £2.8m park-and-ride project opened today (Monday 23 June) near Leeds United’s Elland Road ground which will be used by hundreds of visitors to the Tour de France Grand D├ępart on Saturday 5 July. The Elland Road scheme is a joint collaboration between the council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and bus firm First.

Two more park-and-rides will be constructed at Lawnswood and Stourton if Leeds’s New Generation Transport system, currently the subject of a public inquiry, is given the go-ahead.

Funding to acquire the 10 acre Aire Valley site will allow an immediate start on essential remediation work, before construction work on the park and ride begins next April.

Use of the land for park and ride forms a key part of the £8.57 million funding package agreed with central government to accelerate development of Temple Green and other sites within the enterprise zone.

The funding agreement paves the way for an immediate start on preparing development platforms, essential engineering work and road infrastructure and building the first of a series of industrial units to attract modern manufacturing companies into the enterprise zone.

Over 33,000sqm of new commercial floorspace will be delivered with potential to create 630 new jobs. Longer term the enterprise zone has the potential to deliver thousands of new jobs and act as a major driver for economic growth across the Leeds City Region.

ENDS

Notes to editors
Covering a total of 142 hectares of development land, the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone was launched with government support in April 2012 to attract investment and drive economic growth across the Leeds City Region. Companies locating within the enterprise zone can take advantage of a range of benefits including reduced business rates worth up to £275,000 over a five year period plus a tailored package of business support and fast track planning. Leeds City Council has worked closely with developers and occupiers, providing additional incentives such as deferring payment for land until buildings are complete and dedicated employment and training support to help companies recruit the right people to support expansion plans.

For media enquiries please contact:
Dan Johnson,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel: 0113 247 5472
Mob: 07891274102
Email: daniel.johnson2@leeds.gov.uk