Staff and students at Shipley College are bidding to block plans to introduce pay-and-display parking in Saltaire.

Bradford Council plan to turn the Caroline Street and Exhibition Road public car parks into pay-and-display facilities to make parking easier for shoppers and tourists.

The scheme was drawn up in response to complaints about commuters and people working in Saltaire clogging up the car parks by leaving their vehicles in them all day.

The scheme was given the green light by councillors in December, but when it was advertised the Council received a letter of complaint and petition - signed by more than 220 people - from Saltaire-based Shipley College.

The objection now has to be considered by councillors but an officers' report to today's highways sub-committee meeting recommends it be over-ruled and December's decision confirmed.

If implemented the pay-and-display proposals would see a £3 charge for all-day parking at the two sites, which have 59 free spaces at the moment.

That would make the sites the most expensive in the district for long-stay parking although they would remain the cheapest for short stays with a charge of 20p an hour for up to five hours between 8am-6pm, Monday to Saturday.

Traders and tourism chiefs have welcomed the scheme but Shipley College, which has 225 members of staff and 3,100 students, says on-street restrictions already make parking difficult in the village, a situation that would be made even worse by pay-and-display.

In a letter to the Council, college principal Jean McAllister suggests better co-ordination and timing of parking restrictions, possibly by allowing residential parking spaces to be used while they are vacant during the day.

She said: "The introduction of parking fees in public car parks will impede our efforts to open up access to further education and support the re-generation of Shipley through widening the participation of local people in the services provided by the college.''

But the report to today's meeting says the scheme aims to encourage a higher turnover of parking, and once implemented the schemes should be surveyed to determine whether any changes are needed.

Clive Woods, chairman of Saltaire Village Society, backed the recommendation to over-rule the objection, adding: "The Exhibition Road car park is not the college's - it's a public car park but if it's clogged up all the time and people can't stop there it's not serving its purpose."

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