A CHANGE to Ilkley's controversial new parking scheme has been announced.

Bradford Council said the introduction of charges and the allocation of parking permits to town centre workers earlier this year would help with the high demand for parking spaces in the town.

But almost immediately after they were introduced the charges were criticised, with claims they left some residents struggling to park on their own streets.

There have been calls for the scheme to be scrapped or overhauled.

Yesterday afternoon Councillor Alex Ross Shaw, Highways lead on Bradford Council, announced that residents on Wharfe View Road and the surrounding streets will be able to park overnight in nearby car parks.

However an Ilkley councillor has called the move "too little, too late" for the often criticised scheme.

Cllr Ross-Shaw said: “I have instructed officers to write to residents in Zone D of the permit scheme to tell them they can park in Wharfe View Road and Railway Road car parks overnight while we consider the longer term rules around the special worker permits.

“Our reallocation of permits to underused pay and display areas has worked well in mitigating demand and officers are busy reviewing special worker permits as set out in our motion at the last Full Council meeting.”

He said a major resurfacing of South Hawkesworth Street car park is expected to start in Spring, which will deliver an electric vehicle charging point and additional parking spaces.

Bus shelters in Ilkley and Addingham will also benefit from the installation of real-time information displays, with the first one due to be installed on The Grove in the next few weeks.

There will also be a 20mph zone implemented in the town centre.

All three councillors for the Ilkley ward have been critical of the scheme.

Cllr Ross Shaw added: "We always said we would reinvest some of the money raised through the parking scheme back into Ilkley and work is well underway on that.

“Early feedback from transport operators is that there has been a definite growth in people using the bus and trains since the scheme went live and hopefully the addition of real-time displays in the bus shelters will give people confidence on when the next bus is and encourage them to use public transport more.

“South Hawkesworth Street car park will greatly benefit from resurfacing and we’re taking the opportunity to put in better facilities and re-ordering the layout to increase the number of parking spaces.”

At October’s Full Council meeting, the Labour Group agreed to review the rules around special worker permits and consult with residents and businesses on  proposed changes.

The consultation is likely to be launched before the end of the year.

Councillor Kyle Green (Con, Ilkley) was critical of the announcement being made during the pre-election purdah period.

He added: "Clearly this announcement is politically motivated.

"We've been calling for a full review of a parking scheme that is clearly not working for residents and is impacting businesses.

"This is too little too late."

He said the review needed to address the 30 minute parking limits imposed on some roads as well as evening parking charges.