AS I SEE IT: Why we’re all getting paranoid about parking

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parking, it seems, is an issue guaranteed to raise the hackles of even the mildest mannered of modern men... oh, and women too.

Whether it’s the lack of it, the cost of it, the rules surrounding it or the occasionally over-zealous enforcement of those rules, parking seems to crop up again and again as a source for heated debate.

Scan the columns of this very newspaper and I guarantee you will find someone upset by something that is somehow connected to parking. Together with dog mess, developers with big ideas and “the young people of today”, it forms the staple diet of our letters page, and no doubt those of many other newspapers.

Sometimes I have little sympathy for those who moan that they cannot park their “urban cruiser” directly outside the shop they wish to patronise. For goodness’ sake, put it on a car park and use your legs – the walk will do you good. It’s not as if we’re short of car parks in Clitheroe and, contrary to what some might claim, the cost of parking here is very reasonable.

If you don’t believe me, take a trip to Skipton. My annual permit to park on Chester Avenue car park costs £55. That’s fractionally over a pound a week, and I enjoy the short stroll to and from the office.

Of course, there are those with genuine difficulty in walking and they should rightly get priority for parking close to where they need to go. Yet sometimes they too fall victim to inflexible application of the “parking laws”, just see our letters page.

My own parking gripe at the moment is closer to home, right outside it in fact.

The street where I live has a residents only parking scheme, due to the popularity of a restaurant at one end of it and the reluctance of its customers to stretch their legs, even after a hearty meal.

The cost of my annual permit has just shot up from £15 to £25, even though the wardens seldom patrol in the evening, when the restaurant is actually open.

But if the restaurant is the source of the problem, and even profiting by it, why should we residents foot the bill?

If you own a car, chances are you have a parking gripe too.

DUNCAN SMITH