ANYONE entering Skipton along Gargrave Road during recent months cannot have failed to notice the cars and construction vehicles parked on either side of the road.

To start with, it was office workers at HML and at Craven College, who not only parked on the road itself, but took up spaces in the car park at Craven Pool and Fitness Centre.

It led to Craven District Council introducing a charge for long-term parking, and to consider briefly bringing in a short-term parking fee.

Now, construction workers at the college and at Skipton Academy have taken to parking in Gargrave Road. And on top of that, some customers of Keelham Farm Shop appear to find it easier to abandon their cars in the road, instead of using the business's perfectly adequate car park.

Nearby residents, previously given a respite at the weekend, now have to cope with drivers parking on the pavement, as close as possible to the shop.

One can only imagine those who do park in the road lack the necessary driving skills to navigate the car park or are simply too lazy to spend a few minutes of their precious time finding a parking place.

Hats off to Keelham, though. The business, which prides itself on being a good neighbour, says it is aware of the problem and is doing what it can to tackle it. By all accounts, the shop is attracting 11,000 customers every week – 3,000 more than it was expecting – and even though it built a larger car park than it thought it would need, even that has proved inadequate.

It hopes additional check-outs will speed things up, and as customers get used to the layout, they will spend less time browsing, so less time in the car park. It has also rented space elsewhere for staff vehicles to free up more spaces, and is policing the car park after finding non-customers were using it.

Clearly, Keelham is doing what it can, and not simply turning its back on the problem. Let's hope this brings an end to the parking hell, and soon.