The strategy on the future of parking in Wetherby was due to be discussed by interested parties today (March 12).
New schemes to accommodate increasing numbers of cars could include four hour only parking at the Wilderness Car Park, long stay provision and refurbishment at Station Gardens for commuters, and free parking for visitors and shoppers at Hallfield Lane lorry park, with an added 144 spaces.
I understand that there is some uncertainty locally about the future of the lorry park and the impact on market traders’ parking space, but my ward colleagues and I are still discussing the plans and will do everything possible to find a solution.Wetherby Coun Gerald Wilkinson (Con)
Though nothing has been decided yet, concern has been raised over the provision for market traders who park lorries and trucks at Hallfield Lane every week and are worried they will have nowhere else to go once work starts there in April.
As the plans enter this final stage, councillors are issuing words of reassurance to the public to say Wetherby’s market will be open for business as usual on Thursdays.
Coun Gerald Wilkinson (Con) has been liaising between Leeds City Council (LCC), which owns the lorry park, and has played a large part in the overall strategy.
He said: “I want to reassure everyone that the Thursday market, which has been in existence since being granted a Royal Charter in 1240, will remain open for business as usual.
“I understand that there is some uncertainty locally about the future of the lorry park and the impact on market traders’ parking space, but my ward colleagues and I are still discussing the plans and will do everything possible to find a solution.
“The parking strategy for Wetherby is still under development and there are a variety of factors to consider, but the aim is to encourage shoppers and visitors into the centre.”
Parking proposals at Hallfield Lane, though owned by LCC, are part of plans submitted by Morrisons to add 144 free spaces as part of the 10,000 sq ft extension of the Horsefair Centre store, passed by the council in 2012.
Coun Wilkinson has said previously that market traders’ concerns will be put before LCC to ‘find a satisfactory solution’.
Representatives from the Town Council and Wetherby Business Association have said they eagerly await news of what the proposals are.
See next week’s Wetherby News (published on March 19) for a full report on the strategy.