Much-needed and long-awaited work to provide more parking at Alnmouth Station started this week.
The scheme, to alleviate congestion at and around the site, is for the northbound platform side and has been designed and is being constructed by Northumberland County Council.
The development will see the creation of 37 extra spaces, taking the provision from 65 to 102 bays, and take around four months to complete, depending on the weather.
The extension has been slightly scaled down from a plan that was approved last February, reducing the number of bays by six from what was originally intended.
As part of this new planning permission, which was granted in October, the originally proposed grass verge adjacent to the station platform will be replaced with concrete block paving.
Despite the loss of a few bays, there is delight that the scheme is starting, after a long-running saga to bring the work to fruition.
Alnwick county councillor, Heather Cairns, said: “It has been a bit of a long haul, but I am delighted that, finally, work is starting at the site. I thank the officers at Northumberland County Council who have worked hard to achieve this.”
Fellow Alnwick member, Gordon Castle, added: “As local county councillors, Coun Cairns and I have pressed hard for this extension using all possible avenues.
“I am extremely pleased that there is progress at last and I would also like to recognise the work and determination of Coun Cairns and council officers to maintain the priority of the scheme.”
The work will include an extension to the existing retaining wall and the new spaces have been positioned so that the Aln Valley Railway will be able to access the northbound platform, as part of its heritage railway proposal.
Network Rail owns the land and the council has negotiated a 99-year lease so that it can operate the car park.
The council will be consulting on a new traffic regulation order and it is expected that some of the new and/or existing spaces on the council-operated car park (the northbound platform side) will be time-limited.