Stourton’s solar-powered Park & ​​Ride officially opens

The controversial Stourton Park & ​​Ride was officially opened by Future Transport and Environment Minister MP Rachel Maclean on September 16, 2021.

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

Stourton Park & ​​Ride offers buses every 10 to 15 minutes and costs £ 3 for a return trip. There are discounted fares for the elderly, blind and disabled discount pass holders, and up to three children travel free with each paying adult. There is free Wi-Fi on all fully electric buses and the property offers secure, well-lit parking with video surveillance.

The official opening marks the 150th anniversary of public transport in West Yorkshire. On this date in 1871, a horse-drawn tram started between the town center and Headingley. The horse quickly gave way to electric trams, trolleybuses and gasoline buses, the latter being quickly supplanted by those with diesel engines.

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

The program is carried out in partnership with Connecting Leeds to Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and First West Yorkshire who provide the buses and service. The introduction of park-and-ride lots at strategic locations around the city helps reduce congestion in the city center, which will improve air quality by reducing carbon emissions in the public domain.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said:

“We have provided over £ 170million to help Leeds City Council deliver better, faster and greener journeys to locals and it’s fantastic to see some of that money going to a green initiative like this one.

“This brilliant new program will reduce travel times and traffic congestion while improving air quality and accessibility to greener modes of transport – giving residents the trips they deserve.”

West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin said:

“I was delighted to attend the official opening of the UK’s first solar powered Park & ​​Ride in Stourton, on such an important anniversary for public transport in West Yorkshire.

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

“Stourton Park & ​​Ride is playing an important role in our work to tackle the climate emergency and the broader goal of transforming the Leeds City region into a net zero carbon economy by 2038. This benefits l environment, economy and our public transport infrastructure. “

Councilor Helen Hayden, Executive Member of Leeds City Council for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainability, said:

“It was a pleasure to attend the official opening event of Stourton Park & ​​Ride, the third park and ride site in Leeds which will welcome commuters from South Leeds.

“Park & ​​Ride locations are important in helping Leeds achieve the ambition of being a car-free city by improving public transport and making travel more carbon-free. We know people are willing to make small incremental changes by switching from electric vehicles, using public transportation more, and reducing car dependency.

“Our ambition is to be zero carbon by 2030 and zero emission parks and rides like this one will help create a more people-centered city: fewer cars on the road, more space for people, regular bus services, creating livable streets.

Councilor Kim Groves, senior member of the West Yorkshire Transport Committee for Public Transport, said:

“It was great to see so many people attending the official opening of Stourton. The use of this revolutionary installation is already growing.

“As the UK’s first solar powered Park & ​​Ride, Stourton is improving transport links in Leeds and West Yorkshire and having a positive impact on the local economy and businesses. Reducing travel times and transport costs is a major asset for people working in cities, both for their well-being and for their daily lives.

“And of course, Stourton Park & ​​Ride is also making an important contribution to the Leeds City region to achieve a net zero carbon economy by 2038.”

Stourton Park & ​​Ride has 45 solar panels that span the size of 18 tennis courts and generate the capacity to power all of the site’s electrical needs via an innovative battery storage system.

Other features of the new site include 26 fast charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) and 4 fast charging stations totaling 30 EV charging spots, a secure bicycle storage room and 1,200 vehicle spots. These include bays dedicated to disabled people, families and motorcycles and a seat change facility.

Martin Hirst, Commercial Director of First West Yorkshire, said:

“The Minister herself experienced the speed, simplicity and comfort of a zero-emission commute from downtown to Stourton in less than 15 minutes. It’s a trip that has grown in popularity since we started the service last week as people find out how easy it is to get in and out of the south side of Leeds. We expect this to continue as more customers see the benefits of saving time and money through sustainable travel, which helps reduce traffic congestion and create cleaner air in the area. city.

“We were also able to demonstrate how, with fully electric buses, we build on the continued success of Park & ​​Ride in Leeds with our partners in regional and local authorities. “

The £ 38.5million public transport project located in the Stourton area of ​​Leeds at junction 7 of the M621 will be the preferred park and ride site for commuters coming from south-east Leeds via main roads like the M1, the A61 and the A639. .

Stourton Park & ​​Ride was made possible by funds secured from the Department of Transport to expand the Leeds Public Transport Investment Program, as well as a grant from the European Regional Development Fund to build a network smart energy on site using sustainable technology.

BAM Nuttall, appointed to develop the site, began detailed designs in January 2019, to transform a land into this fully operational and sustainable park and ride today. This success is the result of a strong collaboration between the construction partners, Leeds City Council, their development partner WSP, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Department for Transport, and underpins the ambitious transformation agenda of the city ​​public transport system.

In addition to using solar panels to generate electricity for lighting, electric vehicle charging, CCTV security, and heat for the terminal and waiting room, the site design also took into account opportunities to enjoy the benefits of nature. Over 11,000 trees and shrubs create an attractive environment for people using the facilities, on foot or by bicycle. The terminus has a “green roof”, helping to reduce urban air temperature and creating habitat for wildlife.

Martin Bellamy, Managing Director of BAM Nuttall, said:

“BAM Nuttall is proud to be part of the broad collaboration between Leeds City Council, businesses and local communities, delivering the UK’s first fully solar powered Park & ​​Ride to Stourton. The ambition to reduce congestion, improve air quality and save carbon has been at the center of the concerns of the teams leading the design and delivery of this sustainable transport platform.

“We are also delighted that our Connecting Leeds projects have created opportunities for over 1,000 people looking for sustainable careers, ranging from expert engineers and construction roles to over 20 apprentices. Almost half of the BAM team live in and around Leeds and Yorkshire. By working together, they gain the experience of being part of this collaborative team, while playing a role in achieving many benefits for their neighbors. The partnership also likes to support local initiatives, such as the Mencap internship program in Leeds, which has led to a permanent position for a young woman with BAM.

For more tickets and information on Stourton Park & ​​Ride, please visit: iParkandRide.

This article is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council

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