Parking charges plans u-turn

NAWN 1901152AM1 Wilderness Car Park,  The Mayor of Wetherby Coun. Galan Moss with councillors Victor Hawkins, Denise Podlewska, Cindy Bentley, Norma Harrington, David Frame, Dawn Payne and Town Clark Iona Taylor in the Wilderness car park.  (19011552AM1)
NAWN 1901152AM1 Wilderness Car Park, The Mayor of Wetherby Coun. Galan Moss with councillors Victor Hawkins, Denise Podlewska, Cindy Bentley, Norma Harrington, David Frame, Dawn Payne and Town Clark Iona Taylor in the Wilderness car park. (19011552AM1)

Plans to introduce charges at Wetherby’s Wilderness car park have been dropped.

Leeds City Council’s budget proposal sparked outrage in the town in December when it highlighted the major town centre site as one of three in Leeds being capable of generating £200,000 through pay and display.

But on Tuesday afternoon the local authority removed the idea from the final 2019 budget plans.

Wetherby ward Coun Alan Lamb said: “This is a welcome, if spectacular U-Turn.

“When the council proposed introducing parking charges in Wetherby we raised our concerns at the highest levels, with senior officers, the chief executive and also raised the matter in full Council.

“We were very clear about the damage the proposal would cause to our local high street and called for their immediate removal from the final budget.

“We, therefore, welcome the fact that the council appears to have listened and taken these potentially damaging proposals out of their budget plans.

“It shows that we were right to make the case against charging, speaking up for local people and local businesses.”

The Council’s final budget proposals, published on Tuesday February 5) said: “The proposal to implement charging at District Car Parks is now no longer in the budget submission.”

Coun Lamb added: “We have always believed that parking in Wetherby should be free of charge.

“We have some unique and hardworking businesses in our town and we have done all we can to support them over the years by introducing new, free parking whenever the opportunity has arisen.

“The Council’s plans would have undone all that hard work and we are pleased that the pressure we have put on has made the Council see sense and scrap their plans.”