‘Slow’ progress with Wetherby parking overhaul

Work starts at Station Gardens Car Park. (S)
Work starts at Station Gardens Car Park. (S)

The complete overhaul of parking in Wetherby is making ‘slow’ progress, according to the overseeing councillor.

Coun Gerald Wilkinson (Con) said in March that a strategy to re-envision parking in the town could see car parks at Wilderness, Crossley Street, James Street, and the Council Offices restricted to four hours only, with parking at Hallfield Lane lorry park also restricted to four hours with 25 per cent long stay parking.

Only Station Gardens car park would be unrestricted and now progress is being made at this site, with resurfacing and boundary fencing going up.

This week, he said that car park should be finished this week, but, as far as the other sites are concerned, nothing has been finalised yet.

“We are progressing, slowly,” he said.

“The Old Station Car Park is due to be completed this week and the work on the lorry park should commence on June 8.

“There will be signs put up to give advance warning to motorists that the car park will be closed, directing them to other car parks.

“As far as the others are concerned, we still haven’t finalised that yet as far as timings go, but we are meeting this week and next week to decide that.

“We have a little bit of time because the lorry park is probably going to take 15 weeks.”

These meetings have been ongoing for months and long delays before a final decision on the parking strategy for Wetherby have previously caused concern at a lack of available information.

The vice chair of Wetherby Business Association Denise Podlewska said the strategy proposals as they stand are not too much of a problem in her view, as long as there is something in there for working people.

She did, however, express concern about the safety of Station Gardens.

“It is very remote and enclosed by trees and I don’t think I would want to be there on my own even during the day,” she said.

An LCC spokesman explained what work was taking place at Station Gardens, but said it wouldn’t be finished for two weeks.

“At the moment the work that is going on is the resurfacing and boundary fencing.

“That will be completed in a couple of weeks and we will then be trying to get a date finalised for the street lighting and the double yellow lines.

“The review of parking in Wetherby did identify that there could be potential there, but it wasn’t necessarily a case of having to use the site - it was referenced as an area for potential.”