New Leeds Park & Ride Site – Better Late than Never

For the long-suffering Leeds travelling public, the announcement by METRO of the opening of a new Park & Ride site at Temple Green is welcome news. 1,000 parking spaces will be provided adjacent to the M1, with a reasonably priced and frequent Park & Ride bus service into the city, from 18 June. It should result in reduced congestion, delay and pollution for those in both the North East and East of Leeds.

But it has been a long time coming.

For over 40 years (from the 1970s to the 2010s) Leeds has avoided the idea of bus based Park & Ride as it put all its transport eggs in the basket of a tram network and then the ill-fated trolleybus scheme. With the demise of these schemes Park & Ride has finally been exploited.

Meanwhile just up the A64, the City of York has built its Park & Ride operation into the largest and most successful in the UK – covering every major route into the city, with over 4.5 million passenger trips per annum. There is no reason why Leeds cannot match and exceed this success in the future as it is a much larger conurbation with greater mode share potential.

So, a small victory and a welcome addition to the Leeds transport network but there is much more work to be done to increase the number of Park & Ride facilities and routes into the city. Bus priority measures at key delay points on each route would also help boost the proposition.

Sadly (in a slightly unusual quirk of bus routing), the new Park & Ride bus route does not pass by Curtins’ office on East Street, which is another missed opportunity. The use of faster and better routes into the City, such as via East Street and the Victoria Gate development, will hopefully be examined in the future.

For those that want to try the new facility there are more details on the METRO website.

I look forward to hearing from users of their experience of the new service.