ILKLEY Town Council is seeking opinions from residents on the new parking scheme, so that these can be fed back to Bradford Council.

Residents are invited to send their comments to To date there has been a good deal of criticism so the council also want to hear also from those for whom the scheme has improved matters, making parking at their homes and access to the town easier.

Ilkley Town Councillor Tom Franks said: “I and my fellow councillors feel that it is important to get a balanced view of the impact of the scheme. Criticisms are often put forward very forcefully, so that it sometimes feels as though there are no opposing views. We are therefore keen to hear also from the quiet voices, who have a different opinion on the way things have turned out, and what changes should be made in the future.”

The Town Council says it is aware of many shortcomings in the scheme. Whilst some residents have expressed satisfaction at the increased availability of parking spaces in some places, the allocation of special business permits for workers has resulted in over-demand for parking spaces elsewhere, at great inconvenience for residents. Reallocation of the special business permits by Bradford Council is taking longer than originally expected, and there are ongoing issues in some areas.

Concern is regularly expressed on the impact of the scheme on businesses in Ilkley Town Centre, due to the limited durations and the level of charging. Others, however, note that it is now easier to park in the town for short durations, meaning that they come in more regularly. Evening charges are also a concern, and are, for example, causing many problems during the Ilkley Literature Festival.

It is hoped that the Town Council’s survey, in parallel with Ilkley Business Improvement District’s own research, can generate positive suggestions for future improvements, balancing the interests of all town users. The Town Council has waited to seek feedback to allow a reasonable period for the scheme to bed in and for changes to be made where obvious difficulties occurred.

The scheme has been in operation for about three months, with another few months before Bradford Council undertakes a formal review. In anticipation of this the Town Council feels it is an appropriate time to collect opinions from residents.

Ilkley Town Mayor Cllr Mark Stidworthy, said: “We strongly encourage residents to respond to our call for feedback, both positive and negative, so that we can work to improve the parking scheme in the future.”