Leeds City Council has suspended its Park & Ride schemes at Elland Road and Temple Gate for the duration of the Coronavirus lockdown measures.
A Covid-19 testing facility is being set up at Temple Green, whilst Elland Road has been designated a temporary stopping site for Gipsies and Travellers.
Councillor Debra Coupar, Deputy Leader of Leeds City Council and Executive Member for Communities told South Leeds Life:
“We are facing unprecedented challenges due to the global Covid-19 pandemic in a fast-moving situation and need to ensure we are supporting our communities in the best way possible.
“Leeds is a compassionate city and we work hard to prioritise our most vulnerable families and individuals. We are fortunate in having a strong partnership way of working which has been developed across communities, voluntary sector organisations and the public sector. This has enabled us to be able to work effectively together in this time of heightened need for the benefit of all.
“The Elland Road Park and Ride site was used for a couple of weeks to support a group of travellers who have now relocated to a more suitable location in the city. It may be used as such again during the pandemic or for other purposes as needs require. We will do all it can to minimise the impact on local residents at this time.
“Having reached good solutions to enable people to stay put during this health crisis, it is important that others do not travel into Leeds or attempt to join the settlements. We are urging all communities to obey the rules to minimise contact with others through this period.”
Helen Jones, Chief Executive of Leeds GATE, commented:
“The use of the Elland Road park and ride as a negotiated stopping camp for Traveller and Gypsy families is a temporary measure to ensure safety, security and healthcare during the Covid-19 lockdown. We hope that local people recognise that this is the right decision at this time. Leeds City Council are acting directly according to government instruction to keep all our communities safe.“The policy of negotiated stopping in Leeds has already saved thousands of pounds in public money which can now be used for public good at this extremely difficult time. Having leaders and officers already familiar with negotiating stopping has enabled Leeds to act quickly to keep our communities safe.”