By Betsy Everett
Excessive parking in rural villages is a widespread problem in the Dales with no satisfactory solution, Askrigg parish council has been told.
Commenting on a former resident’s objection to a barn conversion, which would create a demand for more parking, Councillor Allen Kirkbride agreed that the village was “jammed with cars” especially at holiday times.
However during April [the start of lockdown] there had been no cars in the village “and that was very bad for business,” he said.
Former resident Graham Banks, a native of Askrigg, had lodged an objection to plans to convert Wharton Barn in the centre of the village to a holiday let. An original application for a residential home had been withdrawn when the highways department objected to the dangerous access which would be needed at a blind corner.
Commenting on the barn conversion, which is being considered by national park planners and which would create a need for more parking in the village, Mr Banks wrote on behalf of himself and his wife, Carol:
“We are gravely concerned about the lack of parking, given the dire situation in Askrigg, especially in the vicinity of this site, with double yellow lines along most of the highways and cars parked on pavements and rough land.
“It causes highway safety dangers and great detriment to the appearance of the Conservation Area village. . . It is particularly bad during the holiday periods with many visitors’ cars also parked and this proposal will only add to it.
“Sadly, the village is a mess now with parked cars everywhere and there are no firm plans to provide a car park that we are aware of. We recently tried to find a location for a memorial seat we donated to the village and struggled to find anywhere free of parked cars. Where it is has no view because of parked cars.”
He asked if the parish council was doing anything about parking in the village, such as considering the use of the Carrs Billington yard.
“We don’t understand why the council is letting the parking situation get worse,” he wrote. “The application should be refused until something is done about this situation.”
Mr Banks said his objections had his “old village interests at heart, not any of our own personal property interests as these have now gone.”
Bruce Fawcett, chairman, agreed with Mr Kirkbride that parking would “always be an issue.”
Carrs Billington’s had been considered but big wagons were coming and going all the time and could cause a problem.