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Parking in Headingley

1 Leeds HMO Lobby is an association of all the local community associations in Inner NW Leeds. As its name implies, the Lobby is concerned with houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and their impact on the local neighbourhood. A significant impact is high demand for car parking. The present paper is a response to the current consultation on parking in Headingley Centre. Its concern is not only with parking in the Centre, but also with parking in Headingley along the A660 corridor, from Woodhouse Moor to West Park.

2 Problems Three sorts of parking problem arise in the Headingley corridor.
2.1 Residential Parking HMOs have double the normal occupancy (albeit seasonal), and car ownership is now at least as high among Leeds students as it is among residents. Hence, in areas of high HMO concentrations (especially South Headingley and the Ash Road area), there is simply insufficient on-street parking available (as is shown by the Mouchel survey of the Trelawns and Grimthorpes).
2.2 Venue Parking By this is meant parking by visitors (sporting, studying, shopping) attracted by venues in Headingley, specifically Headingley Stadium, the Beckett's Park Campus of Leeds Met University and Headingley Centre itself. A big issue locally is the use of Beckett's Park as a car park for events at this campus (graduation, etc) and for events at the Stadium (especially Test Matches); this causes great damage to the grass. (The current consultation overlooks the impact of the new pavilion under construction at the Stadium, which will exacerbate parking at all three venues - within the Centre, it will attract not only more spectators, but also a thousand students to what is effectively a new campus.)
2.3 Commuter Parking As a major arterial route in Leeds, the A660 experiences heavy commuter traffic (hence the succession of proposals for a Headingley by-pass, for Supertram, and currently for NGT). Some commuters use parts of the corridor for informal park-and-ride arrangements. Meanwhile, some parking in Headingley Centre is by those who actually work there - but the Mouchel survey shows these as a small minority (only 7% parking is above four hours).

3 Solutions Three sorts of measures can be used to manage parking. These are implemented by Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs).
3.1 Prohibition (a) No waiting is allowed at any time, indicated by double yellow lines.
(b) Parking is also prohibited on pavements, by junctions, at dropped kerbs.
3.2 Restraint (a) No Waiting (indicated by single yellow lines) at specified times (most commonly 8am to 6pm, or during peak periods) is used where parking would impede the flow of traffic at busier times but would not present the same problem when flows are lighter.
(b) Limited Waiting (indicated by white lines) is used where space is acceptable for parking at any time, but there is a desire to create a turnover of parking. Waiting is limited to the duration specified during the days and times shown.
3.3 Permits Resident Parking Zones (RPZs) allow only permit holders to park in designated areas. Local authorities have introduced two types.
(a) Comprehensive RPZs provide permits for any resident who keeps and uses a car, van or motorbike. Parking without a permit may be prohibited at all times or at specified times. These operate in Leeds.*
(b) Selective RPZs provide limited numbers of permits to residences; fees may be charged for these. Parking without a permit is prohibited at all times. These are not operated in Leeds. (They are used in Southampton, Lincoln, Sheffield, Glasgow and elsewhere, for instance.)

4 Actions Leeds City Council has introduced a number of parking management measures in the Headingley corridor.
4.1 Prohibition Waiting is not allowed at all in many locations [3.1a].
4.2 Restraint No waiting is allowed at specified times in many locations [3.2a]. And limited waiting is allowed in other locations [3.2b] (parking on the A660 for Far Headingley shops is problematic; the restrictions here prevent peak period parking, but those periods were set in the late 1960s and do not reflect the current situation).
4.3 Permits RPZs have been introduced in the Churchwoods/Drummonds, in Beckett's Park, in Chapel Street/Alma Cottages, in the Granbys, in The Turnways and in the Newports. Parking in Beckett's Park has improved (within permit hours), but this RPZ has exported the problem across Otley Road and St Anne's Road, hence 4.4.
4.4 Implementation of parking schemes is under way in West Park and Glen Road, in Weetwood Lane/Avenue, and in Cliff Road.
4.5 Investigations into parking management are under way in Burton Crescent/Shaw Lane/Grove Lane/Grove Road/Wood Lane/Shire Oak Road, the Ash Road area, Bainbrigge Road/Spring Road, and the Royal Parks. Most of these areas have not been progressed primarily because of the Headingley Parking Strategy work.
4.6 Consultation is currently under way on parking in Headingley Centre.

5 Recommendations Leeds HMO Lobby makes the following recommendations.
5.1 Parking policy should be proportionate. General policy is to reduce car usage. Local practice shows that cars are used locally by a minority (the Mouchel survey of those accessing Headingley Centre in 2008 confirmed the Headingley Renaissance survey of 2005 - only a quarter do so by car). Parking policy therefore should privilege pedestrians and public transport over private parking.
Recommendation 1 The prohibition of parking on pavements should be enforced rigorously. Such parking obstructs access, especially for push-chairs and wheel-chairs, and is potentially dangerous.**
Recommendation 2 Parking should be prohibited on residential streets where it obstructs access, especially by public services. Private parking should not obstruct public transport (as it does on parts of the route of Bus Service 56), nor access by public services, like refuse disposal.
5.2 Parking policy should be appropriate. Solutions should be adopted appropriate to the problem.
Recommendation 3 Parking on main through routes should be prohibited, or controlled by no-waiting zones.
Recommendation 4 Short-stay parking (e.g. for shoppers) should be controlled by limited-waiting zones. The Mouchel survey shows that two-thirds of those parking in Headingley Centre do so for less than one hour (and most of these for less than a half-hour). Parts of some main routes (e.g. North Lane), some side streets, the Arndale Centre mezzanine, could be made available for parking; longer stays (up to four hours) could be available as Pay-and-Display (e.g. at the Taps, behind the old cinema).
Recommendation 5 Long-stay parking in residential streets (by commuters, students, spectators) should be controlled by comprehensive RPZs (3.3a, as in The Turnways and Beckett's Park).
Recommendation 6 Parking by residents in congested residential streets should be controlled by selective RPZs (3.3b, in South Headingley and the Ash Road area especially).
5.3 Parking policy should be holistic The problem with localised parking measures is that frequently they have the effect of simply shifting the problem elsewhere (4.3 above). Parking problems in the Headingley corridor are so many and so various that measures should be planned as a whole.
Recommendation 7 A parking strategy should be developed for the whole of Headingley, along the A660 corridor from Woodhouse Moor to West Park.

Leeds HMO Lobby, 2 November 2009

*The general rule is that permits are issued for vehicles registered at the address within the zone. However, some residents have company or works vehicles and they can obtain permits for those with additional information. Equally students can also provide additional information relating to vehicles registered at their permanent address and also obtain a permit, but only for the duration of their tenancy. The aim is to provide permits for those who are resident, regardless of the nature of their occupation or the expected length of stay.

**In practice, any parking restriction in place applies equally to the carriageway and footway so, for example, parking on the footway to the rear of double yellow lines is still an offence. Parking enforcement in relation to restrictions is carried out by LCC Parking Services. However, in the absence of restrictions, parking on the footway can only be dealt with if it is deemed to be obstructive. If the vehicle is obstructing a dropped crossing intended for pedestrians (often with tactile paving) or a complaint has been received that a private access is being blocked, then the LCC Wardens can issue a ticket. All other obstruction (preventing walking along the footway, for example) can only be dealt with by the Police.


Leeds HMO Lobby
email: hmolobby@hotmail.com website: www.hmolobby.org.uk/leeds