Senior officials are refusing to rule out relinquishing ownership of Bradford Council’s car parks in Keighley and the wider district as part of a major new review.
It has been revealed management of some sites could be devolved to parish and town councils, as part of ongoing budget cuts. “The study is being carried out as part of a general internal review of parking across the district to make sure facilities are still fit for purpose,” said a spokesman.
Coun Andrew Thornton, Bradford’s portfolio holder for environment, sport and sustainability, said he could not rule out the possibility of devolvement. But he stressed it was not yet possible to make a decision.
“We first need to better understand the functioning of our car parks and ensure we have a consistent approach across the district that makes sense,” he said.
“We’re trying to assess how much provision there is – have we got enough of it, is it the right places and is there the right balance between long-stay and short-stay parking?”
Bradford Council-run car parks include Scott Street and Church Green in Keighley and the Parsonage Museum, Gas Street and Weaver’s Hill car parks in Haworth.
Reacting to news of the review, Worth Valley ward councillor Rebecca Poulsen said the Weaver’s Hill car park is seriously underused.
“Weaver’s Hill could be a lot better used and could make a lot more money,” she argued.
“People tend to head for the Parsonage Museum car park, which is fine, but it isn’t that big.”
Coun John Huxley, chairman of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, said he and his colleagues previously proposed entering into a partnership with Bradford Council to help run Weaver’s Hill.
“So far, we haven’t progressed beyond that point,” he added. “Weaver’s Hill is sadly neglected. It could be so much more useful if it was properly developed.”
A Bradford Council highways spokesman responded that the department had invested heavily in the site.
She added: “We had eight large signs installed directing people to Weaver’s Hill car park a couple of years ago. This was part of a £1,500 scheme in which we liaised with the Department of Transport.
“The signage scheme was welcomed at the time, as they are quite large and visible from various vantage points in the village.”
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