Caption: An artist's impression of the park and ride site at Elland Road
Final approval for the creation of the city’s first major bus-based park and ride scheme will be considered by senior councillors in Leeds next week.
At its meeting at Civic Hall on Wednesday 6 November, the council’s executive board will be asked to give the go-ahead to the £2.8million project to create a new park and ride scheme to be run from the council-owned car parks to the west of Elland Road Stadium.
The plan and designs have been drawn up by Leeds City Council and Metro, with the scheme seeing the introduction of an express bus service running every 15 minutes to and from Boar Lane in Leeds city centre.
The service would run from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday, excluding Saturday matchdays when Leeds United are playing at home. Running initially for a five-year period, the service would provide parking space for up to 800 vehicles at Elland Road and significantly ease congestion by reducing vehicle numbers entering the city centre.
Work on site would see a formal parking area being put in place along with bus waiting facilities, a shelter, lighting, signage, ticketing machines, fences, CCTV and landscaping to enhance to visual appeal of the area.
Planning permission was granted last week, so should executive board approve the plans work would be expected to start on site in February 2014 with the service scheduled to start operating three months later in May.
Funding for the scheme is from the West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan and contributions secured from other developments.
Surveys carried out across the city identified Elland Road as the best location to base a viable park and ride operation, with more to follow across Leeds in future years. Leeds United, Metro and West Yorkshire Police are supportive of the proposals, and a public consultation exercise has been carried out including with local councillors and a local community group.
The proposal forms part of the wider ‘Elland Road masterplan’ first outlined in 2007 to develop the area around the football ground which will help the broader regeneration of Beeston and Holbeck.
Under this masterplan, the site is expected to see a new permanent ice rink being created adjacent to the proposed park and ride area. Planning permission has been granted for the rink, which is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2014. Construction is also underway at Elland Road on the new divisional headquarters for West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, with an estimated completion date of early-2014.
Leeds City Council executive member for the economy and development Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“The Elland Road masterplan is a key area of development for the city, and along with the new police headquarters and the ice rink the park and ride scheme has a major role to play not only in reducing traffic congestion in the city centre but also in promoting investment and regeneration in Beeston and Holbeck.
“We do recognise local concerns about the impact on the immediate area by the park and ride scheme, but I would like to reiterate we will do everything we can to address and minimise any problems to ensure this scheme is a success for the local area and Leeds as whole.”
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