RESIDENTS hit by parking problems are being urged to share their concerns with Ilkley Parish Council, as councillors press for long-term solutions.

A wide range of concerns with parking across the town - ranging from all-day commuter parking in and around to the town centre - to parked cars obstructing pavements and clogging streets - were heard at a meeting of Ilkley Parish Council on Monday (September 1).

Some have called for a radical answer, such as a multi-storey car park, or the temporary use of the new Tesco store site to provide additional parking space.

But councillors are also seeking action from police and Bradford Council parking wardens and highways department, in an attempt to tackle parking issues once and for all.

They have agreed to hold a meeting with Bradford Council officers and other parties to debate the best options for tackling Ilkley's parking woes.

Ilkley parish councillor Mike Ridgway wants to collate as many complaints as possible from members of the community, so the Parish Council can present the full case for a solution to parking problems.

He presented photographs to the council and police this week of examples of poor or unlawful parking around Ilkley's streets.

Councillor Ridgway said: "Parking is out of control. Any residents with parking problems, please e-mail the parish council. We can get bundles of them, pass them on the council, pass them on to the police, make as much noise as possible."

Discussion also got underway about ways of tackling the problems.

Former Ilkley Design Statement Group chairman, Wilfred Shaw, spoke at Monday's meeting, highlighting radical steps taken in Bradford city centre two decades ago, including banning all day city centre parking, imposing parking charges with meters, and limiting shop deliveries to early morning or evening.

He said: "Ilkley is becoming a free park and ride for commuters. Northern Rail generate car traffic but make little provision for it . All day parking inconveniences shoppers and visitors and local business users."

He sees street parking charges as 'inevitable', and called for a multi-storey car park to be built, and the use of the undeveloped Tesco store site for parking in the short term.

Councillors also suggested other measures, ranging from urging residents to put their bins away, cut back overgrown hedges and trees to make more room on pavements, and to be more considerate about their own parking.

It was suggested Ilkley people could also make sure they report problems caused by parked cars to police or Bradford Council.

But Counciilor Bryan Websdale asked if creating more parking in Ilkley town centre would actually result in more commuters driving into town and parking up all day.

Another measure discussed recently was distributing leaflets produced by West Yorkshire Police, which residents could themselves leave on badly-parked vehicles.

Parish Council chairman, Andrew Walbank agreed to work with Bradford Council's Keighley Area Co-ordinator's office to get together with other parties to develop a joint targeted approach to parking issues.

The parish clerk's office can be contacted by e-mail at Ilkleypc@Bradford.Gov.Uk or on (01943) 436212.