Live outside Leeds: Britain’s first solar park’n’ride sparks up shoppers & buses


Britain’s first purpose-built solar PV canopy over a public park’n’ride hub is now charging private EVs and electric shuttle buses two miles from Yorkshire’s biggest city centre.

EVs and buses are now bering charged at Stourton’s solar park’n’ride

A £38.5 million municipal all-electric solar-plus-battery facility opened this week at Stourton, in Leeds’ southern suburbs.

Serving 26 EV charging points among 1,200 bays, the site’s PV-enabled canopy will also charge electric buses ferrying shoppers to and from the city centre.  A fifteen-minute journey is anticipated via dedicated bus lanes, cyclists permitting.

Free fares until 12 September on the wifi-enabled shuttles departing every ten minutes at peak times, are the municipal authority’s inducement to famously thrifty – and never wrong – Yorkshire folk.  City mothers and fathers hope visitors will leave their petrolled jalopies on the city’s south-eastern outskirts.

Are tykes electric?

Thereafter, Yorkshire’s reputedly short-armed, deep-pocketed inhabitants – including commuters from Wakefield and points along the M621, A61 and A623 – can benefit from slashed travel costs, as well as slashed motoring-related emissions.

A £3 return fare can be improved upon via season ticket subscriptions. For that standard fare, 3 youngsters under 19 years old can travel free with a single paying adult.

The Stourton project is backed by the EU’s European Regional Development Funding.  It forms part of the Connecting Leeds programme delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), and Leeds City Council.  First West Yorkshire will run the shuttles under contract with the WYCA

Proud as ‘eck, as like

“Being able to launch the UK’s first solar-powered park and ride is a massive achievement for Leeds and a major boost to both the local environment, economy, and the city’s public transport infrastructure” said Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire.

BAM Nuttall and SISK have been construction partners for the Stourton project.

Developer Gridserve last autumn launched the first of its 100 planned Electric Forecourts in Braintree, Essex.

Though solar-electric canopies contribute a share of Gridserve’s battery-enabled charging proposition, the Electric Highway sites are designed to serve private EV drivers exclusively.

And the Hitachi Capital-backed hubs ‘sleeve’ much of their power onto site, including imports from an already commissioned 34.7MW solar park built in – since tha ‘asks  – north Yorkshire.  Think on!


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