Could park and ride schemes be introduced in parts of Wakefield to cut congestion?

Park-and-ride schemes may be considered as part of a drive to tackle congestion in town centres across the Wakefield district.

By David Spereall
Thursday, 16th September 2021, 5:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th September 2021, 5:31 pm

Council chiefs have hinted that such a system, which has been used successfully in Leeds and York to minimise traffic, may be introduced in the future.

The schemes allow motorists to drop their cars off at a site outside a town or city centre, before completing the rest of their journey by bus.

The public is increasingly being urged to seek alternatives to the car for environmental reasons. Wakefield Council has already started a crackdown on idling outside schools earlier this year, as part of its efforts to cut pollution.

Council chiefs have suggested a park-and-ride scheme could be introduced as part of a wider package of measures to cut town centre congestion.

The issue of a park-and-ride was discussed at a scrutiny committee meeting on Wednesday morning, which several councillors were unable to attend following a severe accident on the M1.

Asked for his thoughts on such a system, the council's corporate director for regeneration, Mark Lynam, said: "I think park-and-ride has to be part of the mix, in terms of how we try to better manage traffic coming into our town and city centres.

"We want to be getting people out of their cars. With air quality and climate change, do we really want the amount of traffic we've got coming into our centres at the moment?

"So park and ride might actually be part of the mix."

Mr Lynam said the council was also considering the future locations of its car parks and whether or not they should be on the outskirts of town centres.

Mr Lynam said that the council was looking at the locations of its publicly-run car parks in general and asking themselves, "Where do we have them? Where they should be? Should we leave them on the outskirts of town and city centres?"

He added: "This all needs to be part of the bigger picture about how people move around and how we limit traffic coming into the centres."

Featherstone councillor Maureen Tennant-King suggested she'd be supportive of the idea.

She told the meeting: "In Featherstone, we've got a lot of building going on and we've now got a lot of people now living in Featherstone, who probably originally lived in Leeds.

"So we're becoming a commuter place and we've got more vehicles coming from Wakefield.

"So I think a park-and-ride is perhaps a good idea, because there's a lot of places that are now becoming commuter towns and villages."

Local Democracy Reporting Service