Ilkley parking survey reveals 62% now visit less often

A parking survey organised by Ilkley BID closed last Friday and attracted approximately 1500 responses.  

In consultation with Leeds City Centre based market research agency Trinity McQueen, the survey was designed to assess the impact of the parking scheme. The results will be analysed and anonymised data will be presented to Bradford Council for them to use as part of the review process.

Sarah Siddons, voluntary BID Director commented “We had always said that we wanted to incorporate a business survey into the review process. As so many people are business owners or work in the town centre and live here too, and when it became evident that neither the District Councillors nor the Town Council were intending to undertake this type of research, it seemed a logical step to make the survey open to all relevant parties.

Within a month of the scheme launching, the BID made requests for a series of amendments to the scheme which have been echoed by some of the District and Town Councillors; we are all pretty much of the same view on many aspects. Many of these requests have been repeated in the comments from residents and business owners completing the survey. Emotions are running high about the impact of the scheme but we are trying to stay out of the politics of this and record the facts. We are limited in what can be done in the short term due to the restrictions imposed on councillors due to the period of purdah before the General Election but hope to be able to have further discussions very soon.”

The survey contained 35 questions and the some of the headline responses were:

  • 54% of businesses who responded reported a drop in turnover

  • 66% said their customers had commented that they now visit Ilkley less frequently

  • 90% of businesses said they relied on workers who need to park in Ilkley

  • 68% of respondents who classified themselves as town centre workers said that they are unable to use public transport to travel to work, primarily due to childcare commitments but also due to availability of public transport at appropriate times and other issues.

  • 62% of respondents who answered the question on frequency of visits said they now visit Ilkley less often

  • 723 people answered questions about the time they spend in Ilkley with 68% reporting that they now stay in Ilkley for a shorter time, with 76% of those saying this is as a direct result of the parking changes

  • More than 1000 people answered a question about any change in spending habits with 68% saying they now spend less money with town centre businesses, 90% of those doing less ‘browsing’ and 79% spending less time in cafés and restaurants.

  • 74% of respondents answered a question about concern for the impact on businesses with  87% said they were worried.

  • 63% of respondents classifying themselves as residents in the area covered by the scheme said parking is now worse during the day, 22% reported an improvement. 48% said it is worse after 6pm

  • 59% of the respondents who live immediately outside the area covered by the restrictions said parking on their street is now worse, 38% reporting no significant change.

 

BID Manager, Helen Rhodes added “The initial review of information is very worrying for the future of the high street in Ilkley which is already under immense pressure. Further analysis needs to be done to validate some of the responses received and this work is ongoing.

We have received a couple of queries about the impact of Cllr Ross-Shaw who is the portfolio-holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport also being on the board of Ilkley BID. It is standard practice for a member of the District Council to be on the BID board and this has worked in our favour on various other projects.  Our governance procedures mean that any matter where there is a conflict of interests are dealt with clearly and Cllr Ross-Shaw would be invited to leave the meeting if a decision about our stance on parking was to be discussed. Our company Articles of Association limit the number of council board members so that their influence will never be more than any other board member.”

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