Residents in one of Yorkshire’s most sought-after towns are being asked for their views on car parking after a council-commissioned report recommended hiking prices at a site that is already the most profitable in the district.
Commuters who leave their cars in the centre of Ilkley all day are partly to blame for the congestion in the town, according to the report by consultants Steer Davies Gleave.
It wants to restrict on-street parking to use by short-stay shoppers, introduce residents’ permits and increase fees at the pay-and-display car park on South Hawksworth Street in the town centre.
Five years ago, the facility, which accommodates 227 cars and was the site of a railway turntable in the days when Ilkley Station connected the town to Skipton, was revealed to bring in £250,000 a year for Bradford Council, making it the area’s biggest such revenue generator.
The report says Ilkley’s most persistent parking problems are within 400m of the train station, though it adds that not all the problems are caused by commuters.
It says shoppers often struggle to find a space and that residents are sometimes obstructed in their own street.
To ease this, it suggests residents-only permit schemes be introduced on streets to the north of the station, including Nile, Victory, Nelson, Wellington and Golden Butts Roads, Wharfe View, Weston Road and Castle Road.
The town’s MP, John Grogan, has called parking the “number one issue” among residents.
The council has now opened its report’s recommendations to discission, with a month-long online consultation and drop-in sessions at the Clarke Foley Centre next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Its transport spokesman, Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, said: “We are acutely aware of the parking problems Ilkley residents are experiencing every day.
“The aim of the recommendations is to manage parking in the town more effectively and provide residential streets with permits to ensure people who live near the town centre can park on their own street.”
He added: “Nothing is set in stone and we will listen to and act on feedback from the drop-in sessions and consultation responses.
“This is an inclusive process and we welcome all interested parties to get involved.”