ILKLEY District Councillor Kyle Green (Con, Ilkley) has welcomed changes to parking in Ilkley that will see free parking extended to one hour.

Councillor Green says he has been standing up for Ilkley residents and businesses in opposing the parking charges brought in by Bradford Council and along with other Conservative councillors has repeatedly asked questions and backed motions to remove parking charges at full council sessions.

In addition to this Councillor Green says has been pushing for changes to the scheme in meetings with council officers and is delighted that: “Bradford Council have finally agreed to undo some of the damage they created in introducing these unwanted charges, which made South Hawksworth Street the highest revenue generating car park in the entire district.”

Speaking about the changes, Councillor Green said: “I welcome the belated changes that I have been calling for.

“While I am disappointed they have not gone further to support local businesses by suspending parking charges as many other councils have done to support local high streets and businesses this is finally some movement in the right direction. I also expect to see real investment into our town from the revenue generated through these charges.

“I hope that the council now starts to listen to other areas of concern such as the unwanted evening parking charges and addressing the fundamental issue at the heart of Ilkley’s parking problems which is a lack of parking capacity, while supporting a whole town active travel approach.”

The changes introduced by Bradford Council last week were proposed as part of the consultation on the Ilkley Parking Review Phase Two and include an increase from half an hour free parking to an hours free parking in the town centre, and an increase in on-street parking to at least three hours and in some places four hours. Bradford Council will be contacting local businesses about the renewal of their business permits, and as previously announced the proposed charges will be waived for another year so they will just incur a basic admin fee of £10 a permit. Other investments by the council in Ilkley include the resurfacing of South Hawkesworth Street car park.