CONTROVERSIAL plans to introduce charges at a Guiseley car park have been abandoned.

The suggestion of pay and display charges at Netherfield Road car park was included in Leeds City Council’s initial budget proposals for this year.

But now the scheme has been dropped after opposition from local councillors and residents.

The proposed charges at three district centre car parks in Guiseley, Wetherby and Garforth, were expected to generate £200,000 of income in 2019/20.

READ MORE: Can free parking save the city centre?

But a budget report published this week says: “The proposal to implement charging at district car parks is now no longer in the budget submission.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, the Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning, said: “After listening to feedback from local residents we have decided to not introduce charging at these district car parks in this year’s budget.

“Unfortunately under nine years of austerity imposed by this Government, with £266m cut since 2010, we have to consider all options when it comes to looking at our budget and it would be irresponsible to dismiss anything out of hand. While we continue to face such harsh cuts and an ever increasing funding gap for running vital services, we have to look at all options to find the resources to keep funding services.”

Councillor Paul Wadsworth (Con, Guiseley and Rawdon) said: “We welcome this announcement which is positive news for Guiseley and means Netherfield Road car park should remain free. The car park plays a vital role in encouraging people to park and ride at the station, reducing congestion on the A65, so we were dismayed when we learned about the charging plans and resolved to fight against them.

“The Council appears to have listened to our concerns and removed these charges from their budget for this year.”

Fellow Conservative ward councillor Pat Latty said: “I am delighted that these proposed charges have been dropped from the council’s budget this year. We do not have sufficient on or off-street car parking in Guiseley, and Netherfield Road has filled a vital need, offering free parking for commuters using Guiseley Station and local businesses.

“Introducing charging to this car park would have been a terrible move, displacing vehicles onto residential streets and increasing congestion.”