A search for solutions on coastal parking

Craster
Craster

Councillors are looking into ways to ease some of the parking issues on the north Northumberland coast, which came to a head over the May Day bank holiday weekend.

Earlier this month, the Gazette reported on the complaints made by businesses and residents following parking issues in several villages on the north Northumberland coast during the busy weekend.

Representatives from Alnmouth, Bamburgh, Craster, Newton-by-the-Sea and Warkworth all admitted that they had problems with parking and traffic management to a greater or lesser extent, particularly at peak times.

Now, the new county councillor for the Bamburgh ward, John Woodman, is looking to organise a meeting with several of the coastal parishes to discuss the issue of parking, particularly at peak periods such as sunny bank holiday weekends.

“They all have different problems and they are all dealing with them in different ways, which is in some ways the best way to deal with it,” he said.

“But the meeting is something I want to do and I want to do it properly.”

He said that as a new member of the council, he is ensuring that he knows and speaks to the relevant officers at County Hall, before arranging a date.

He added: “Unfortunately, the chances of having another fine bank holiday seem slim, but it will happen and we need to get something sorted.

“Most of the coastal parishes I have spoken to are keen to sit down and have a discussion.”

Meanwhile complaints continue to come in about the situation in Craster in particular, which has one public car park and vehicles are advised to stay out of the village centre.

There were reports of visitors receiving parking tickets despite having paid as they weren’t in a bay due to lack of spaces.

Andrew Rostron was one of those affected and he has written to the council complaining that while I wasn’t parked within a designated parking bay (which are very poorly marked I may add), I did park courteously and without obstruction and did pay the required fee’.

He also referred to the ‘discussions between several other visitors to Northumberland who were also issued with PCNs (penalty charge notices) in Craster, who were all incredulous at Northumberland County Council’s utter lack of leniency on the first decent, sunny day since last year, and complete disregard to attracting any sort of tourism and visitors to the region’.

But a county council spokeswoman said: “It is one of the terms and conditions of using a council car park that vehicles can only park within a marked bay.

“We may need to leave an area unmarked in order to allow coaches to turn within the car park.”

The Gazette understands that local ward member John Taylor is in discussions with the parish council and a landowner about the possibility of using part of his land as an extra car park.