HOUSEHOLDERS in Ilkley could help ease the town’s parking problems by renting out their drives.

The idea was put forward during a meeting of Ilkley Town Council as one way of taking some of the pressure off an overburdened system.

Other suggestions include an extra tier of parking at Tesco and encouraging businesses and other organisations to open up their car parks for general use at weekends,

Councillors also called on people to cycle or use public transport and leave their cars at home.

Town Mayor Cllr Steve Butler told the meeting the current Bradford Council parking review did not address the issue because it did not talk about increasing parking spaces.

He stressed the need to be more proactive to increase the number of spaces available.

“I don’t think whatever they come up with is going to solve the problem in any real way because we need more spaces,” he said.

Cllr Butler argued that the town council should publicise the fact that people can make money from renting out car parking space on their drives.

He stressed the need to use existing space that was not being fully utilised, and he said organisations which only used their car parks during the week could be encouraged to open them to the public at weekends.

Cllr Mike Gibbons argued the case for looking at the possibility of having another level on Tesco’s car park,

He said the parking review had provoked a big reaction in the town - bigger than anything since the bypass. And he claimed most of the reaction was very negative.

Many people driving into Ilkley could make their journeys in a different way, according to Cllr Henri Murison.

He said people needed to think about what sort of town they wanted to live in.

He pointed out that buses, which many people could use for free, were driving around empty while people were getting into their cars to go into Ilkley.

“The reality is that as long as more and more people chose to drive into Ilkley we will become a more congested place,” He said.

He added: “My view is we need to make Ilkley a less car dependant place.”

He stressed: “I believe Bradford Council should go further - not do less.”

Cllr Mark Stidworthy stressed that many journeys did not need to be done by car.

He said: “We need to actually make people understand that if you use your car in this way there is a serious cost to the town.

He said in 20 years time Ilkley needed to be a different town centre that wasn’t filled with cars.

Cllr Sandy MacPherson warned about the danger of traffic being displaced because of town centre restrictions and he argued that a whole town solution was needed.