Leyburn residents use town plan survey to call for car parking changes

Leyburn Market Place.

The issue of car parking provoked the strongest responses to a survey conducted for Leyburn Town Plan.

A total of 931 responses were received to the survey which was conducted between September and December last year.

Responses were received from residents, visitors and local businesses.

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Copies of a report looking at the results are being distributed this week.

The survey found that while many people valued living and working in the town, they believed changes could be made to improve it.

The survey found a strong majority in favour of action over car parking in the town, with many people in favour of free time limited parking in the central squares.

The report stated: “Car parking is the single most important issue for the town.

“There was a clear view, from both residents and businesses, in favour of swift action and a strong preference for free time-limited disc parking in the town squares.

“This reflects general criticism that many cars are left in the town squares all day.”

Respondents wanted the town to make more of what it has already, including promoting the library, tidying up the town centre, holding more events in the town centre and making the town centre more accessible to disabled people.

Other issues included more affordable housing, better sporting and recreational facilities, improved healthcare and social care, improved play areas and improved transport links.

Many respondents said the town’s facilities and resources must keep pace with any plans to expand the town’s population.

Most respondents said they believed that living in Leyburn gave them the best of both worlds.

They said that with its range of independent shops, it was possible to obtain most things, but it was also close to the A1, and local towns such as Northallerton and Darlington.

The things people disliked included the amount of dog dirt, litter and untidiness, what some considered to be the poor and unwelcoming appearance of the town centre, problems over parking and, for those without access to cars, the lack of public transport.

Younger respondents used the survey to plea for improved access to sporting and recreational facilities

The need for an integrated and frequent bus service linking Leyburn with the Dales, local towns, mainline railway and Friarage and James Cook hospitals was also expressed.

Other comments stated that there were too few opportunities for younger people to remain in
the town and an over-provision of houses more suitable for retired people rather than young families.

Of those expressing a view on sports facilities, there was an overwhelming majority in favour of additional sports facilities in the town.

The report added: “Of individual comments, the most frequently mentioned improvements were a local swimming pool, a community sports hall and combined outdoor facilities for cricket, football and tennis.

“There was widespread frustration at the recent closure of the Wensleydale School playing fields to the wider public and the lack of access to other sports facilities at the school.”

After car parking, health generated the greatest number of comments, particularly in relation to the elderly, highlighting the need for effective long-term planning in this area.

Click here to download a copy of the report.