Green light for £20m 550-space park and ride scheme

Senior councillors at Leeds City Council’s executive board agreed to progress plans for a 550-space car park and ride at Alwoodley and up to 400 additional car spaces at Temple Green.

Together these sites, along with an extension to Elland Road and a new Stourton park and ride, will create an additional 2,000 park and ride spaces across the city.

This work will be delivered via Connecting Leeds, which is investing £270m in the transport network of the city. Connecting Leeds, the long-term transport strategy for Leeds, aims to improve all aspects of transport and travel in the city and connecting to the wider Leeds City Region.

The report considered by the Leeds councillors highlighted investing £14m in a new Alwoodley Park and Ride site located on council owned land opposite Leeds Grammar School. The location has the advantage of intercepting traffic moving towards Leeds from Harrogate on the A61 North, reducing traffic levels in the north part of the city.

It is planned the site would provide a high quality, high frequency bus service to encourage people out of their cars and reduce vehicle congestion.

Just two years ago the 1,000-space bus park and ride site at Temple Green, in east Leeds opened. Temple Green park and ride has proved successful and is over 85% full at peak times. At current growth levels it will reach maximum capacity before the end of this year. The extra investment in the site extension is £6.5m.

Connecting Leeds is currently consulting on the Temple Green expansion plans and people can have their say on the  council’s website until 9 August.

Together these sites could see over 400,000 less vehicles driving into the city centre per year, while removing 5,800 tonnes of carbon, therefore improving air quality, reducing noise and emission levels. The improvements are meant to help to encourage more people to travel by bus, further reducing congestion on the city’s highways.

The designs of the park and ride schemes are subject to planning permission. Work is expected to be complete by March 2021.

Leeds City Council’s executive board member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, Councillor Lisa Mulherin, said: “We are already delighted with the successful park and rides sites at Elland Road and Temple Green.

“Creating a new park and ride site in north Leeds, along with plans for Stourton will benefit people in more parts of the city. Pending planning approval, these extra 950 park and ride spaces developed through Connecting Leeds, will have the capacity to take 406,000 car journeys off our streets each year with the removal of approximately 5,800 tonnes of carbon.

“With a Climate Emergency now is the time more than ever for commuters to think about their journeys. Providing better and more reliable bus services will give more people the confidence and choice to plan travel, without using their car. It’s also a cheaper way to travel for families, with children travelling free from park and ride with a paying adult.”