ONCE again, parking restrictions on Skipton’s High Street setts are in the news and once again, the situation is as clear as mud.

North Yorkshire County Council has said it is drawing up changes to provide greater clarity to drivers and, in the meantime, does not consider it “appropriate” to continue with enforcement on the setts.

And it has promised to refund motorists who have received a parking ticket since the new restrictions were introduced in October.

So does that mean a parking free-for-all for motorists? It seems not.

We are told that while NYCC chiefs will have to re-advertise the traffic regulation orders, which could take several weeks, the town’s by-laws are still in operation, protecting the market and prohibiting vehicles from causing an obstruction. Drivers can still be fined.

The latest chapter in Skipton’s parking saga is the result of a successful campaign by Gargrave motorist Jim Brosnan to get his parking fine quashed. He received a fixed penalty notice after leaving his car on the setts on a snowy Saturday morning in January and argued that the setts were very quiet due to the bad weather, there was plenty of space to park and there was no sign in place to indicate parking had been suspended.

The adjudicator at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal accepted his case.

Now the North Yorkshire County council has carried out a review and has said that while there will be no material changes to the actual restrictions, it will erect clearer signs.

It is a great shame that the issue has descended into such confusion as the new rules are a good idea, giving greater flexibility and allowing motorists to park on the setts on days when stallholders fail to appear.

We can only hope that the new signs are crystal clear and that a line can be drawn under this once and for all.