Leeds parks: New parking charges could start at 40p an hour

Kirkstall Abbey in Autumn. Photo: Susan Tellum

By David Spereall, local democracy reporter

New parking charges at parks and attractions across Leeds – including Kirkstall Abbey – are likely to start at 40p-an-hour, the city council has revealed.

The cash-strapped local authority revealed in December it was planning to introduce fees at some green spaces in the city to balance its books.

Golden Acre Park in Bramhope, Kirkstall Abbey, Middleton Park, Otley Chevin Park, Roundhay Park and Temple Newsam are among the sites where free parking for the city’s residents is set to end.

Visitors at 24 other public spaces around Leeds will also be told to pay for using their cars.

Further details of the plan, which is likely to be signed off in February as part of the council’s new budget, have now been outlined.

Venues where people park for relatively short periods of time are likely to see relatively “modest” charges introduced.

Season tickets could also be introduced at parks where people go several times a month.

Speaking at a scrutiny meeting on Thursday, senior council officer James Rogers said the scheme would be rolled out gradually over the course of the next year.

Mr Rogers, who is the service director for housing, communities and environment, added: “In terms of the charges, what we’re proposing is modest charges, recognising most people will use these car parks for one or two hours a day.

“40p-an-hour is what we’re currently proposing as part of the consulation process.

“We might just need different arrangements where some of these car parks are used for maybe longer stay parking, where we’re happy to encourage that.

“We’ll put the price in according to the appropirateness of each car park. But generally it will be 40p-an-hour.”

The council says blue badge holders will be exempt from the charges and that the money will help fund maintenance of the car parks themselves.

It also insists the charges will be enforced, despite admitting at the end of last year it was grappling with a parking warden shortage.

The system is also likely to be cash-less, with drivers asked to pay through a phone app.

Conservative councillor for Adel and Wharfedale, Barry Anderson asked: “For those people who are regular users – for example in my ward, Golden Acre Park is used by a lot of people who walk their dogs there every single day – will there be season tickets where you can pay a one-off (fee)?

“If you did that it would probably improve the cash flow for the council because you’d get the money up front?

“Have you thought of those alternatives?”

Mr Rogers replied: “We will include season ticket options where we consider those to be an appropriate and useful addition, which I’d have thought would be at most of the car parks.”

View the scrutiny board documents and agenda in full here.

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  1. No! This will mean more people will be parking on our streets now instead of paying this. I live nearby one of these attractions, I don’t have a drive, only on street parking, of which there’s already not enough anyway due to multiple car households. This is a blow for local people who live near these places as they will struggle even more now to find somewhere to park near their own home. I regularly have to park 2 or 3 streets away. Why not cut the salaries of the top managers in LCC? This would level things up!

  2. In highly residential areas, such as Kirkstall, all this will do is encourage parking on local surrounding streets, which are already suffering under heavy load.

    In other areas, such as Golden Acre Park, this is simply restricting access to green spaces to those who can afford it. During a cost of living crisis which is so severe that food bank usage is at its highest (WLD regularly advertises the generosity of people providing *free* warm spaces), introducing yet more charges on people to simply access parks is unconscionable.

    Slash highly-paid council staff salaries; don’t force charges on residents who are struggling to afford life as it is. Appalling.

  3. Once again making life difficult for anyone who doesn’t have a smartphone or has difficulty using some of the features .

    Golden acre is only accessible by car so piling on the misery by charging people for even getting a walk in the fresh air is a rotten thing to do

  4. The council is a joke
    Get shut of the high paid mangers who make these stupid decisions , and the useless councillors who back it

  5. I can go by car to all these venues, walk my dog, get some fresh air go home an hour and half max. To go on a bus on a Sunday not viable it would take most of the day. We need a fresh council with fresh ideas.


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