by Wetherby Liberal Democrats on 5 January, 2019
How much longer will Wetherby suffer a raw deal on transport from Leeds City Council’s ruling Labour group?
That question had to be asked after the council was revealed to be considering introducing pay-and-display at the Wilderness car park in a desperate attempt to raise revenue.
David Hopps, Wetherby Lib Dems spokesman, said: “Everybody knows that town centres are facing a struggle for survival and introducing short-term parking charges in outlying areas for the first time ever would make matters worse.
“Wetherby is not just a cash cow to serve Leeds’ needs. It must exist as a vibrant town with a positive future.”
But Wetherby’s Tory councillors can’t get away with pushing all the blame onto Labour. The Government grant to Leeds City Council has been slashed by more than 40% in recent years – and eventually cuts of that magnitude will be felt in our everyday lives.
Such swingeing cuts undermine local democracy and contribute to bad decision making.
The situation in the Wilderness car park is far from straightforward.
Many locals know there is a problem in the Wilderness car park because it is filled early in the morning by commuters – primarily into Leeds. By keeping cars out of city centres they are reducing pollution levels.
But if the habit prevents people from shopping in Wetherby then solutions have to be found.
Labour’s pay-and-display threat follows another transport snub for Wetherby in 2018 when it did not receive any of the £174m extra being spent across Leeds – with a focus on extra bus services – as part of the Leeds Transport Plan.
To make matters worse, bus services between Wetherby and York have also been reduced.
That is why Wetherby Lib Dems will campaign for the following:
* A minimum four hours free parking in the Wilderness car park
* Free parking permits across Wetherby for all people who work in the town
* Urgent investment in a Wetherby park and ride facility
* Extra bus services to and from Leeds so Wetherby gets a fair deal
* A York Circular bus, travelling in both directions, and connecting Wetherby, York, Tadcaster, Boston Spa and surrounding villages.
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