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Mayor Tracy Brabin backs controversial parking charges

By David Spereall, local democracy reporter

West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin has backed controversial plans to charge drivers for using Leeds’ parks and green spaces.

Leeds City Council is proposing to introduce parking fees at sites across the city, with charges starting at 40p-an-hour.

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The plans have drawn criticism and been labelled a “fresh air tax” by local Liberal Democrat councillors.

The Labour-run administration says the move would bring in badly-needed cash – the local authority is having to use reserves for the first time in recent history this year to plug a £15m gap.

Proposals: Stanningley Park.

Asked about the plans on BBC Radio Leeds on Thursday, Mayor Brabin said: “I think it’s fair to say that if you want to park, you pay a small amount for that parking.

“I’m trying to get people out of their cars. I need to get people on buses and on trains.

“We need a network that’s going to work for people, to get them out of their car.

“But anything that makes people think twice about using their car is good for the environment, is good for air and good for the climate crisis.”

If the plan is approved as part of the city council’s new budget in the spring, then the charges would affect around 30 venues across the city.

Parking plans: Farnley Park. Photo: John Baron

Kirkstall Abbey, Roundhay Park, Temple Newsam and Otley Chevin Park would be among some of the bigger green spaces affected.

As revealed by WLD yesterday parking charges in West Leeds could be implemented at Armley Park, Bramley Falls Wood, Farnley Hall Park, New Wortley Rec, Queens Park in Pudsey, Gotts Park in Armley, Stanningley Park and Western Flatts Park in Wortley.

A document seen by WLD revealed a total of 21 community parks are currently under consideration across the city. These include:

The council has said it may introduce season ticket options for people who use the same park several times a month.

It’s also been indicated that charges would be payable via an app, rather than having pay machines installed.

WLD understands Leeds City Council likely to provide an update on the issue next week.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Again, these parking charges to bring in much needed cash. Then Ms Brabin states, ‘we need to get people out of their cars and onto busses and trains’. Joined up thinking there. How much have they lost from losing parking in the centre?

  2. It’s typical of the car hating Leeds City council to introduce such charges. But do they realise it will only lead to parking problems etc in areas in proximity to the parks? Mayor Brabin may have her own idea on the subject but she should keep them to herself. And if Leeds Council is so desperate for money, they should turn their attention to imposing charges on their favourite obsession, cyclists.

  3. Tracy Brabin earns £105,000 per year. The national minimum wage is £8.91 per hour. Working full time, minimum wage pays around £16,000 per year.

    To get from Bramley with 3 kids to Golden Acre Park would cost £14.60, almost 2 hours wages for someone on minimum wage. It would take 2 buses and an hour and a half each way, and that’s if the bus is on time and doesn’t knock.

    If we are supposed to be leaving cars behind, Tracy Brabin needs to entirely reform the public transport in the city. It isn’t fit for purpose, and I’m sure Ms. Brabin doesn’t rely on it for her job.

    This is the council seeing an opportunity to squeeze residents and nothing more – don’t try to make this about being ‘green’ when there are no viable alternatives in Leeds to a car.

  4. I don’t mind paying for parking. I have been paying for ages when visiting Shibden Hall in Halifax.
    We go Wharfemeadow park ln Otley every other weekend and park. I pay if I have to.
    And I am a regular visitor to Horsforth hall park.
    I use the bus or I walk with my dog.
    I would pay if I used our car I don’t mind either way.

  5. If we had a viable bus service everywhere people wouldnt Need to use cars but it’s gone
    from BAD to Even Worse since ms Tracey Brabin West Yorkshire Mayor started spending Government Funding to Actually do What? No Improvement cant see any different to transport problems or anything else , the Mayor has supposedly spent that millions of funding on sadly shes a Disastrous Mayor sooner Out the better.All The Mayors Promises gone up in Smoke along with the Millions of Lost Funding

  6. Think about it. If Gov force people out of their cars. What will they tax to replace the lost revenue from fuel/vehicle tax, tax on parts, repairs. How many small businesses who provide services to the motor industry will be forced to close. They’ve killed high streets with restrictions.

  7. Businesses have closed and others won’t have a choice but to close , as customers can’t afford travel costs fuel then parking charges on top bus services are worse than ever routes taken off difficult to even find a bus stop near shopping areas , Taxis now also refused entries from areas to pick up customers , Leeds will become a Students living & play only area A Ghost town in the end helped by Leeds councils planning changes and Bus companies cuts . The only winners local suburbs shops/business hopefully will gain .
    Leeds as the City to Visit ? will Not be sustained with Leeds councils changes sadly

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