BRADFORD Council is to start charging for car parking at Ilkley Pool and Lido in spring next year.

The council’s executive approved plans to introduce the controversial parking charges in 2018 saying they were needed to offset the effect of Government grant cuts and provide funding to maintain council car parks, however they have delayed implementing them until now.

The announcement has prompted outrage from Councillor Kyle Green (Con, Ilkley) who said he was "shocked" at the plan to revive the charges despite the recent Ilkley car parking changes not being welcomed by "the majority of local residents".

He said: "Bradford Council are determined to press ahead and continue to force parking charges on Ilkley residents, this time by reviving the loathed idea of parking charges for using the Ilkley Lido. With the Lido one of the unique treasures that make Ilkley a wonderful place to live and visit, it appears the Labour-run Bradford Council are once again using Ilkley as a revenue source to fund its own pet projects, such as gambling £1.4million on a 2025 City of Culture bid.

“These charges are clearly designed as a revenue source for the council and provide no benefit to those who visit the Lido. With the council seemingly unwilling at present to recognise the urgent need to reform the current ill-thought through parking changes that they recently implemented, especially the urgent need for evening charges to be scrapped and business permits to be allocated in a way that doesn’t stop residents parking near their homes, the revival of Lido car parking charges seems completely unnecessary and unwelcome.”

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “The Council intends to implement plans to charge for car parking at Ilkley Pool and Lido in spring 2020.

"The charging period will be 8am to 6pm from Monday to Sunday.

"Parking charges will be £1 for up to 2 hours, £2 for up to 4 hours and £3 for over 4 hours.

"A refund scheme, similar to Shipley Pool car park, will be introduced for people using the pool and lido.

"A number of parking permits will be issued to Olicana Cricket Club and All Saints Pre-School Nursery to facilitate operation of the club and business.”

The spokesperson added: "Details of the refund scheme have yet to be finalised, however, the intention is to ensure that leisure pool users are not disadvantaged and will receive either a full or part refund of car parking charges on entry to the pool."

But speaking about the potential impact of the charges, Cllr Green added: “By charging to park at a location that encourages active, healthy lifestyles, the council is clearly making it harder for people to use the facilities.

"While I am pleased they are going to refund parking fees for users of the facilities, they must ensure people can pay by card or have app charges refunded as well. Furthermore, they must make sure the facilities are still accessible for users who want to park there, rather than the car park being filled with cars parked there due to a lack of parking capacity in Ilkley.

"I believe that instead of the council bringing in these charges they should be looking to encourage more people to use the facility, with schemes such as giving free access for life to current and former members of the armed forces (as well as their immediate family members) and should also be investing in more parking capacity for Ilkley.

"It would also make sense for them to look at encouraging environmentally-friendly transport options for people wishing to go to the Lido by investing in options such as electric vehicle charging points and more cycle storage."