Leeds & West Yorkshire

Traders angry at Leeds Kirkgate Market car park plans

Leeds city market
Image caption The market is Europe's largest covered market with more than 300 indoor and 185 outdoor market stalls

The outdoor area of Leeds market could soon be reduced in size to make way for a car park.

The city council is considering converting a small part of Kirkgate Market to a short-stay car park to encourage people to visit.

It said it was getting views from traders who will be affected, but they were not all happy with the plan.

Michael Dolan, who runs a fruit and vegetable stall, stands to lose his pitch if the car park goes ahead.

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"They did ask and they said that if we were all totally against it then it wouldn't be going ahead," he said.

"Well we are all totally against it, but we have now heard that they are going to go round and ask everybody and have a vote on it.

"Well it doesn't affect every person, it affects us at the bottom whose living's going to go."

Image caption The council's plan to convert part of the market to a car park is to increase visitor numbers

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: "Traders at Kirkgate asked us to look into options to create short-stay parking in order to help bring more business into the market for all traders.

"One of the options we are currently looking at, is converting a small section of the outdoor market into a customer parking area."

She said the proposals were at an early stage and the council was obtaining the views from traders.

"No decision will be made until we have consulted more widely on the options and understood the views of traders," she added.

Earlier this year, all traders at Leeds Kirkgate Market were given rent reductions for six months, after complaining about reduced takings.

It is Europe's largest covered market with more than 300 indoor and 185 outdoor stalls.

It was recently given a £14m refurbishment, focused on renewing the fabric of the Grade I listed building and its services.

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