THERE is a definite air of dysfunction about who, what and why when it comes to car parking and particularly of course how much.

On the one hand there was a real air of concern this week from Northallerton traders and businesses who fear for the future prosperity of the town. The Business Improvement District group which fights the corner for traders and businesses claim the town is seriously disadvantaged by the half hour restriction on free parking. Neighbouring towns have an hour and they complain it's not a level playing field. Fair comment, they blame parking problems for the worrying decline in footfall and increase in empty shops, and you tend to think they would be the people who would know. This issue falls at the door of North Yorkshire County Council who brought in the town centre street parking regime in 2014.

Totally disconnected, possibly, was the announcement from Hambleton District Council that they’re investing £550,000 in improving their eleven car parks transforming signing, payments, bay size and CCTV as well as installing electric charging. A further £400,000 is earmarked for maintenance.

There are varying charges for these car parks, one of the main ones at the Applegarth in Northallerton, overall they bring in £710,000 a year for the district council, town centre parking also brings in many thousands for NYCC.

You can’t help wondering how interesting it would be if the council’s got together with the business leaders and even maybe asked shoppers what they think. Perhaps astonishing and even dramatic possibilities could be looked at such as free or seriously reduced parking charges, how different might that be.