Named: Community parks in West Leeds which could face parking charges

armley park playground
Armley Park

By John Baron

Users of eight parks in West Leeds could face paying parking charges, if Leeds City Council gives the final go ahead.

The Labour-run council has announced it is planning to charge around 40p-an-hour for car parking at some public spaces across the city.

Golden Acre Park in Bramhope, Kirkstall Abbey, Middleton Park, Otley Chevin Park, Roundhay Park and Temple Newsam are among the large areas of parkland where free parking for the city’s residents could end.

WLD understands 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 today revealed a total of 21 community parks are currently under consideration across the city. These include:

Leeds City Council has stressed that no final decisions have been made and that any proposal that comes forward will be subject to consultation.

But Leeds Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Stuart Golton yesterday attacked the plans.

“These parking charges are nothing more than a fresh air tax on the city’s green lungs,” he said. “People are genuinely angry about these plans, and rightly so. Our parks are some of the few free leisure attractions left for families feeling the pinch, and the prospect of being charged to park up is causing genuine distress.”

Queens Park, Pudsey

In response, a council spokesperson said: “We understand how valuable our city’s parks are to the people of Leeds, and that access is an important part of that.

“However, the unprecedented budget pressures faced by the council have meant we have had to look at options we wouldn’t usually consider. No decisions have yet been made and any proposal that comes forward will be subject to consultation.”

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.

The proposal could be signed off in February as part of the council’s new budget.

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.

Western Flatts Park community orchard
Western Flatts Cliff Park community orchard. Photo: Katherine Turner

Speaking at a council scrutiny meeting earlier this month, 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 appropriateness 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.

WLD cutswatch

WLD has been following council cuts through our Cutswatch series.

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  1. Jokers are the council clowns
    All this will do is make people park on streets and outside peoples houses causing chaos
    Oh yeah Leeds city council, roads and chaos go together very well they should win a award for chaos
    In fact let’s all park outside the houses of the people that make these stupid decisions

  2. Closed Morley bottoms, created traffic jams on other roads. Closing roads in centre, increasing traffic problems elsewhere. Force cars out of the centre lose revenue from charges and fines so move charging out of centre.

  3. You are to be a Smart City, Leeds – don’t you have funding from the WEF etc? Get them to stump up a few quid and scrap this scheme. What? It is to stop people using cash? Training for CBDC? Oh. I get it now. Like it says on the buses, neuro linguistic programming “No need for cash”. Are you banning people without Smart phones from our parks and green spaces?

  4. Not everyone lives within walking distance of a park, this is another of this Labour Councils proposals that instead of encouraging a healthy lifestyle does the opposite. Just like when they tried to sell off the T V Harrison playing fields in Wortley.
    They waste millions on projects that are not supported and try and recoup their losses from the people of Leeds.

    • When Leeds announces that iit is going to “try out” 20 minute neighbourhoods, TVH will have won – and there will be amenity land in each zone – I’ve seen the development plan – if you can’t then access Golden Acre Park because you live in Armley – at that point they might put better swings etc into Armley Park.


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