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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Britain’s first fully solar-powered park and ride opened in Leeds

The official opening marks the 150th anniversary of public transport in West Yorkshire..

On 16 September Stourton park and ride was officially opened by the Minister for the future of transport and environment, Minister Rachel Maclean MP.

Stourton park and ride is the third park and ride site in Leeds alongside Elland Road and Temple Green. It opened its doors to customers on 6 September and is now attracting a steadily growing number of users.

Stourton park and ride has buses running every 10-15 minutes and costs £3 for a return ticket. There are discounted fares for seniors, blind and disabled concessionary pass holders and up to three children travel free with every fare-paying adult. There’s free WiFi on all the fully electric buses and provides a well-lit, secure parking facility with CCTV.

Minister Maclean and WY Mayor Tracy Brabin with vintage bus

The official opening marks the 150th anniversary of public transport in West Yorkshire. On this date, in 1871 a horse tram commenced between the city centre and Headingley. The horse soon gave way to electric trams, trolleybuses and petrol buses, the latter quickly being superseded by those with diesel engines.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean, said: “We provided over £170 million to help Leeds City Council provide better, quicker and greener journeys for local people and it’s fantastic to see some of that money go towards a green initiative like this one.

“This brilliant new scheme will slash journey times and congestion while improving air quality and accessibility to greener modes of transport, giving local people the journeys they deserve.”

Transport Yorkshire Preservation Group and the Aire Valley Transport Group brought two vintage buses to the park and ride site for pictures against their modern counterparts. Technology has accelerated this century and the UK’s first fully solar-powered park and ride site is served by a fleet of zero-emission electric buses that operate shuttle services to and from Leeds city every 10 minutes.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “I was delighted to attend the official opening of the UK’s first solar-powered park and ride at Stourton, on such a significant anniversary for public transport in West Yorkshire.

Minster Maclean, Cllr Lewis, Cllr Groves, Cllr Hayden and West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin at the official launch.

“We’ve seen a fantastic response from people since the site opened earlier this month. Commuters are now using it regularly, reducing their carbon footprint and contributing to cleaner air in Leeds and the region.

“Stourton park and ride plays an important role in our work to tackle the climate emergency and the wider aim of transforming the Leeds City Region into a net-zero carbon economy by 2038. It’s benefiting the environment, the economy, and our public transport infrastructure.”

The scheme is delivered in partnership with Connecting Leeds at Leeds city council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and First West Yorkshire who supply the buses and service. The introduction of park and rides at strategic locations around the city contribute to reducing congestion in the city centre which will improve air quality by reducing carbon emissions in the public realm.

For tickets and more information about the Stourton Park & Ride, please visit here.

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