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Leeds Slashes Charges As Manchester Raises Them?

A tale of two city centres

Written by . Published on June 28th 2011.

Leeds Slashes Charges As Manchester Raises Them?

SHOPPERS and retailers in Leeds city centre could get some good news if plans to half parking charges get the go ahead. This makes for an interesting Tale of Two Cities, with Manchester set to increase parking charges and introduce Sunday charging.

The proposals, put forward by Leeds City Council, aim to support hard pressed city centre retailers and businesses by encouraging visitors to come back to shop ‘til they drop.

"We hope that adjusting prices like this will increase demand and therefore increase the economic vibrancy of the city.”

Every year the council reviews parking charges to ensure prices reflect supply and demand. This year, ten new privately owned car parks and a drop in consumer confidence have contributed to a drop in demand.

If the proposals get the go-ahead, the new charges will come into force in July this year. Although some charges for high demand city centre spaces will increase, others will remain the same or be reduced by up to 50 per cent.

Highlights of the proposals include:

A pound an hour charge on 900 Saturday spaces - a 50 per cent reduction for shorter stays.

A 50 per cent reduction in a further 275 spaces in Holbeck at only £2.20 for all day.

More flexible times – for example the council now offers two hours at Quarry Hill car park for dance classes at Northern Ballet.

Free parking in evenings and on Sundays will continue.

The move is in stark contrast to plans in Manchester, where councillors are expected to increase city centre parking charges, including the introduction of Sunday charging for the first time. 

“These proposals are aimed at striking a balance between tackling congestion in the city centre and encouraging shoppers and visitors to the city to boost businesses and retailers,” said a spokesman for Leeds City Council.

“Rather than just put prices up, we're proposing a significant cut in many prices. Saturday is the main shopping day so we've gone to £1 an hour in 900 central spaces, which is a 50% cut for short stays. We hope that adjusting prices like this will increase demand and therefore increase the economic vibrancy of the city.”

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Simon SmithJune 28th 2011.

According to TomTom, Leeds isn't in the worst 50 cities in Europe for traffic jams. Manchester is the 10th worst.


If you need to whine about car parking charges you probably are too poor to have a car in the first place.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 28th 2011.

Blimey, you really are condescending aren't you? I picture your curled lip and raised eyebrow every time I read one of your comments.

Jonathan SchofieldJune 28th 2011.

Simon, having lived in Madrid and been a frequent visitor to Milan, having cycled in London, Brussels, Cracow, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Strasbourg, Barcelona and so on; to say Manchester is in tenth worst place in Europe for traffic jams is rubbish. We're talking the city centre here, not the M60 junction close to the Trafford Centre. We're interviewing businesses across the city centre about the extended hours and Sunday parking fee extension today. Let's see what the people who pay the rates say?

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