ON balance the correct decision has been made by the planning committee to partially reopen the Friarsgate multi-storey car park.

Environmental campaigners, who tend to live five minutes walk from the Buttercross, say an opportunity is being wasted to reduce parking and so cut air pollution. This is of interest to us at 5 Upper Brook Street, where the air quality is at its worst.

Adequate parking is crucial in the real world and it is no answer to simply reduce the number of spaces. The closure of Chesil Street open air and the imminent end of the one in Upper Brook Street had tipped things too far. The perception was that there is not enough parking.

The environmentalists cite other cities where parking has been reduced. But every place is unique and what works in York will not necessarily work here. One of our unique complicating features is the lack of a northern ‘ring road’ so all traffic from Andover Road, Worthy Lane and Easton Lane funnels down into the city centre’s one-way system.

Where the Chronicle would agree with many people is that parking is a key issue in the unpopularity of Silver Hill and Station Approach with the amount of parking the key reason the schemes are so big.

One answer at Silver Hill would be to move the parking across the road to create a new multi-storey, of perhaps three levels, on Middle Brook Street and so reduce the height of the development. Just a thought.