A NEW parking scheme in Wetherby could give the town centre 160 free parking spaces.
Supermarket chain Morrisons says it wants to increase town centre parking for residents and shoppers by refurbishing the Hallfield Lane lorry park and making it free to use.
Lorries, which currently park at the car park at a charge of £5.50 per night, will no longer be permitted to use the site.
The supermarket has announced its plans as part of proposals to expand the store by 10,000ft sq.
As part of the Morrisons refurbishment, the store will work with Leeds City Council – which owns the lorry park – to increase town centre parking.
The site will be rearranged and space increased to make room for another 40 cars.
Hallfield Lane lorry park, which currently costs £2 per day for cars to park, will become free, with a mix of long and medium stay parking.
Speaking to the Wetherby News this week, Coun Gerald Wilkinson, Wetherby ward member on Leeds City Council, said the new car parking proposals were badly needed in Wetherby.
He said: “We need more long stay and medium stay parking in the town – there is no problem in Wetherby parking for under two hours.
“The new plans will see 75 per cent of the car park at Hallfield Lane lorry park for medium stay car parkers, with the remainder being used as long stay parking.”
He added that the council and supermarket’s want to add a coach drop off point under the new proposals.
Speaking on behalf of Morrisons, property asset manager Alistair Smith, told the Wetherby News: “The free car park will serve as a town centre facility, so all users, other shops and businesses in the centre will benefit from the much needed extra free parking right in the middle of the town.
“We hope this will ease the burden on shoppers and residents in Wetherby, where we understand parking is of a premium.”
A spokesman for Morrisons added that the complete refurbishment of the lorry park was needed as potholes and uneven surfaces were currently blighting the site.
The lorry park, which was created more than 40 years ago to cope with HGVs stopping off in Wetherby, has been leased from the city council by John Gray since 1980.
Cars are currently permitted to park there between the hours of 7am and 6pm. The A1 (M) Service station, Moto services, allows lorries to park for a fee of £21 with a food voucher.
As well as the car parking scheme, the supermarket chain is planning to extend its Horsefair centre store by 10,000 sq ft to give it a more spacious look and wider aisles.
“It will provide a real boost to Wetherby and a much improved shopping experience for our customers,” said Mr Smith.
“For some time now we have been considering our options to extend our popular store, which has successfully anchored Wetherby town centre for many years.
“By extending our store by around 10,000 sq ft we intending to bring it in line with our top stores in the country. This will allow us to introduce our latest interior and layout.”
A public display of the Morrisons proposals will be on exhibition at the supermarket on Friday April 20 between 10am and 7pm. They will also be on display the next day, Saturday 21, between 10am and 3pm at Wetherby Town Hall.
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