CitiPark highlights a need for free car parking in Leeds

 Victoria Gate has opened its doors to the public and partner CitiPark has offered two hours free car parking as an incentive to attract shoppers to the city within the first week of it’s opening.

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Photograph by Rebecca Stein

Victoria Gate customers will have access to free parking through a QR code. The code will be available through the CitiPark website and on flyers that have been distributed within the area.

David Crother, a CitiPark representative, said that opportunities and incentives only “encourages shoppers and tourists to Leeds”. The city is now thriving with shopping centres and attractions. Crother believes this “will give an opportunity for shoppers to not only to visit Victoria Gate but see what else Leeds has to offer”.

Ajay Kumar, a spokesperson for Victoria Gate believes that it will be a wonderful addition to the city:

“This is an exciting addition to an already growing, vibrant city scene. Victoria Gate has delivered the first John Lewis to the city… What is a city without a John Lewis?”

“It is wonderful that Citipark is allowing drivers two hours free. This gives opportunity to visit Victoria Gate and see what we have to offer.”

Is this what Leeds needed?

Through CitiPark’s promotion, drivers have been racing to the car-park to guarantee a space. Many road-users consider the charges too high. Dan O’Hagan, a road-user in Leeds said:

“By the time you pay for petrol, car-parking, road tax, MOT’s, road-tax and general maintenance even having a car in the city. The cost to park in Leeds is extortionate, but people rely on that service so car parking companies can get away with it.”

In 2015, the Department for Transport reported that there was 2,117,995 cars on the road in Leeds. I spoke to 3 of those road-users and asked: “If Leeds offered free car parking, would you be more encouraged to shop in the city?”

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Alex Jones and Joe Egann are promotional staff for CitiPark. Alex states “Leeds is a big, fast-growing city and with free parking it makes it easier and more accessible”. Joe agrees: “I sometimes go to the butchers and to carry everything on public transport or in a cab is a hassle, so cheap parking would make a lot more sense.”

Shannon Campbell, a road-user in the city is often left confused as to why she is being charged so much:

“There not always secure car parks so you don’t know what your getting. Prices are exaggerated like £2.50 for an hour? I’d rather go to a shopping centre with free car parking. Leeds City has better shops, I want free car parking”.

The Cost

The cheapest car-park in Leeds is Woodhouse Car Park, which charges £2 for 2 hours. However, this car park has the greatest distance from the City. Leeds Station (Short Stay) is a whopping £12.50 for 2 hours, but it’s central to the city.

Trinity Car Park offers road-users an incentive of £3 car parking between 5pm-5am which encourages night-life and evening dining. But, for day-time car parking Trinity will charge £5 for 2 hours.

About the Author

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This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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