By Matty Ramage
A Leeds Council planning meeting on Thursday ended with a unanimous vote in favour of the development of the Park and Ride site next to Elland Road stadium.
The development does not involve any new buildings but will see the addition of 550 new car parking spaces.
The planned expansion also involves a signal junction on Bobby Collins Road and a bus gate to allow only buses access to the M621.
The hope behind this proposal is that a Park and Ride will limit the number of car journeys into Leeds via the M621.
The space is currently used for overflow parking during Leeds United match days, and this will continue while midweek match days will charge supporters to use the car park.
The Park and Ride service will not operate on Saturday match days, so it will be used solely as a supporters’ car park during weekends where Leeds United are at home.
Green Party Councillor Ann Blackburn expressed concerns that this could lead to fans parking in the surrounding residential areas, inconveniencing local residents.
A recommendation by West Yorkshire Police to keep all landscaping to a metre high has also been accepted. This is to increase visibility of the Park and Ride area and in turn maintain safety among users.
The council only received one letter of objection, with the concerns listed including that the surrounding road network will not be able to cope with the additional traffic generated, the increase in pollution and that the existing Park and Ride is not being properly maintained.
It is also proposed that the Park and Ride will operate between 6am and 9:15pm Monday to Friday in order to avoid disturbing local residents, with later starts and earlier finishes on weekends and bank holidays.
Also proposed was the use of electric buses at the Park and Ride.