More City Centre stops as Leeds embraces Park & Ride
Two more bus stops are set to be installed on Boar Lane, Leeds city centre following a surge in demand for Park & Ride services in the city.
Council leaders and operators are working hard to keep up with demand following the launch of new Park & Ride facilities at Elland Road and Temple green last year.
Both sites offer significant capacity- with 800 spaces at Elland Road and 1,000 spaces at the Temple Green location- and since the addition of the new facilities more and more Leeds residents have decided to ditch their cars in favour of the bus.
With local government working hard to cut congestion, and with air pollution a growing concern, the news has been warmly received and council workers, local manufacturers and bus operators are keen to build on the success.
As well as making provisions for the new stops, bus operator First Leeds have announced that they will be increasing the frequency of peak-time services from the Elland Road site into the city during the busiest periods.
New facilities & SMART Ticketing
As part of the drive to encourage more vehicle owners to use public transport, the Park & Ride sites have been kitted out with state-of-the art equipment including new SMART ticketing kiosks that were developed by touchscreen kiosk manufacturers Cammax.
The Castleford-based firm first teamed up with the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive in 2014 and over the last 4 years they have worked to deploy their machines at the Park & Ride sites as well as at various other locations in the city.
SMART Ticketing kiosks work on a cash-less basis and this helps speed up transactions. Microchips electronically stored on top-up cards allow bus users to load cash onto cards and the move has proved a big hit with passengers.
For operators, the benefits are easy to identify: SMART ticketing kiosks eliminate cash from buses and ticket machines which can be a costly process to manage. For passengers, any move that offers added convenience when it comes to ticket purchasing is welcome and boarding times are much quicker.
Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), Cllr Keith Wakefield commented: “The growing numbers of people taking advantage of the park and ride sites at Elland Road and Temple green is having a significant effect on the economic and environmental cost of congestion in Leeds by removing over 6,000 car journeys from the city centre’s streets”.
Will Pearson, operations director at First Leeds added “Buses are key to tackling congestion and reducing emissions and, in fact, a fully-loaded double decker bus can take 75 cars off the road. If more people try park & ride, rather than drive into the city centre, then this would ease congestion and improve bus journey times. We look forward to welcoming new and existing customers on board in the coming weeks”.