Dear Reader: Time to park ridiculous charges idea

Graham Chalmers
Graham Chalmers

Column by Harrogate Advertiser’s Graham Chalmers

Sometimes it’s the small things that have the biggest impact and sometimes it’s something as small as £2.

I say £2 but over the course of a year that sum could turn into hundreds of pounds each for local clubs and societies, arts groups and church-goers, anyone, in fact, who goes into Harrogate town centre regularly.

I refer to North Yorkshire County Councils’ current proposals to introduce parking charges on Sundays and a £2 flat rate charge for on-street parking after 6pm daily.

I’ve done my research. Where there’s a parking space, there’s a dispute. Arguments over parking have been going on since the days of horse and carriages.

But, for anywhere with a vibrant nightlife, never mind a town rich in cultural and community activity, one whose economy is dependent to a degree on such activity, this is surely one idea that deserves to be, well, I’ve got to say it, parked.

Every day for the first 18 years of my life I shared a small bedroom with my younger brother.

It might explain why I still feel the need for a bit of solitude every now and then.

So, when I had a day off last Thursday, I took the chance to head off into a lovely part of Nidderdale’s AONB less than 10 miles from my house.

The route taking you along the river Washburn towards the looming monolith of the concrete dam, though the ancient woodlands and round Thruscross reservoir isn’t really off the beaten path but it feels like that.

It was raining at first but as I brushed past the wet grass and bracken trying to wrap themselves round my legs and, occasionally, chest, the weather lifted.

And so did my spirits.

I bumped into a few people along the way but most of the time it was just me and the birds, the occasional rabbit and the summer flies, those damn flies.

You’re never really alone in nature.