YORKSHIRE Water is planning to start charging people to park at its most popular reservoir sites - it says planning to, and says if it gets planning permission, it will carry out a trial - but it has already taken on a company to manage its car parks, so we can practically assume it is a given - the only thing which could stop it is the local planning authority, and saying no to parking meters in car parks seems unlikely.

So, the very busy Thruscross, Swinsty and Fewston reservoirs, all off the A59 between Skipton and Harrogate, will no longer be free to park; inevitably, people will park on the surrounding roads, but space is limited, so they will be forced to use the car parks, if they want to carry on visiting the reservoirs. Cost will be £1 for an hour, £2 for two hours, and £3 for six hours; an annual pass will be £30.

Anyone who has enjoyed the reservoirs over the years will in all likelihood have probably been pleasantly surprised that parking has always been free; the more sceptical of us may have wondered at what point charging would be introduced. Every time improvements were carried out, the sceptical would have thought, here it comes. Yorkshire Water says money will be invested back into the sites - we shall see, but charging is a shame.