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Ilkley car park brings £250,000 a year in for Bradford Council
A public car park in a picturesque spa town has beaten the rest of the Bradford District to the dubious honour of being the area’s biggest earner for parking revenue.
The figure has sparked concern among retailers that parking charges are too high in Ilkley’s main car park, while others have called for the money to be reinvested in the town.
Ilkley Business Forum communications officer, Stephen Butler, said there were concerns among business owners about the cost of parking in the car park. He said: “The retailers think parking is too expensive and, there should something done to discourage commuters from using it for long stay.”
Ilkley Parish Council chairman, Mike Gibbons, said: “The figures are interesting and slightly surprising, but Ilkley is a very popular destination for many people, and of course, it is used extensively by local residents and it’s good to see people shopping in Ilkley.”
He said: “Maybe future investment in Bradford may mean that the situation will change in the future.”
Ward Councillor Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley) said it was “no surprise” the central car park in the popular visitor and shopping area was generating more income than other Council car parks in the district - but asked for money to be re-invested in the town.
She said: “When we produce so much revenue, we do deserve investment around that area to retain the town’s position as a quality shopping and visitor destination. Back Grove cobbles should be relaid in places and the potholes in the carpark are a disgrace.
“We do, however, have free on-street parking.”
Meanwhile, one street in Bradford city centre has the highest income from parking fines, more than £75,000.
Motorists in Piccadilly in the city centre were issued with 2,806 penalty charge notices, generating the £75,509.
The Council has not revealed how much revenue they clawed back from all the district’s car parks last year or how many penalty charge notices were issued in total, but the Telegraph & Argus has lodged another FOI request asking for that information.
Councillor Andrew Thornton, the executive member for environment, said that people got penalties when they parked illegally or didn’t pay for the amount of time they stayed. Cash from general car parking charges goes to the general revenue account, while those from penalty notices pays for traffic wardens and improvements to traffic and highways, he said.
“We are not using these charges as a cash cow,” he said. “We do not have any targets set for wardens for the tickets they issue.”
A spokesman for the Chamber of Commerce in Bradford, said that the number of notices for just one street seemed very high.
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