Concern over white lines, but parking regime ready

Parking in Alnwick Market Place.
Parking in Alnwick Market Place.

It may have taken more than a year, but a new parking regime for Alnwick Market Place is set to start at the end of next month.

But while the new scheme has been welcomed, there is concern that white lines are being used to mark out the new parking bays, rather than studs which had previously been favoured.

Northumberland County Council is now preparing to mark out the bays, with the new order coming into effect at the end of December.

It will see the existing ‘pedestrians only’ order, which is widely ignored, replaced with a new restricted parking zone.

Plans initially went out for consultation towards the end of last year.

In September, Alnwick Town Council unanimously agreed to back a proposal hammered out by a working group, which will see 11 parking spots, plus an extra disabled space and one for motorcyles, created alongside the Northumberland Hall.

Each bay will be subject to an enforced 30-minute restriction to promote turnover for business.

There will also be four designated loading bays, the longest of which is located on the Town Hall side of the square.

An update from officers at Monday’s north area committee revealed that white lines were now to be used, as there were concerns that motorists may not see the studs.

One of Alnwick’s ward councillors, Heather Cairns, said: “We were trying to avoid white lines. It makes it a car park instead of a town square.

“It has to be clear where the bays are. However, having lines in the Market Square means it becomes a car park.

“We should be increasing pedestrian areas, not increasing car-parking areas in places like the Market Square where there are places such as cafés around.”

And Alnwick’s other councillor, Coun Gordon Castle, said: “I’m disappointed, but one has to expect that you can’t always have everything. There will be some criticism though.

“But I don’t think it should fall down on that, otherwise we will have continual chaos (in the Market Place).”