Frustration is growing in parking restriction fight

Amble traders Alan Bell from AB Decorators, Colin Harris and Julia Falcon from Colin Harris web development and Jeff Rowland and Malcolm Barclay from butchers RC Roland and son.

Amble traders Alan Bell from AB Decorators, Colin Harris and Julia Falcon from Colin Harris web development and Jeff Rowland and Malcolm Barclay from butchers RC Roland and son.

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Campaigners fighting to change current parking restrictions in Amble claim they will face a wait of more than eight months before action is taken.

And there are fears that this delay will lead to the death of local businesses, with some already struggling.

It follows a call for Northumberland County Council to review the current parking restrictions in Queen Street after the authority’s civil parking enforcement officers have been implementing traffic controls in the town.

However, people in Amble say that in some cases the restrictions are no longer relevant and need to be changed to help traders.

But Colin Harris, chairman of Amble Business Club, said that despite county council officers coming out to review the situation, nothing will be done for the foreseeable future.

And he claims County Hall officers said drivers should know not to park in certain areas and it was their fault if they were slapped with a ticket.

“The council cannot implement any actions until at least April 2013 when they have their next budget,” said Mr Harris.

“Our major concern is that we will have to wait eight-months-plus for action, while in the meantime visitors to the street and town cannot park, or if they do park they risk a fine.”

He added that traders who are parking near to their shops to load and unload stock are also receiving tickets.

Traders are now being asked to educate visitors about how and where to park.

Mr Harris added: “There are ‘empty’ spaces on the street which shoppers can’t use to park in because they are designated as loading bays, which were laid out when Queen Street was much different.

“If the county council sits on its hands until April, then there may not be many businesses left to affect on Queen Street.”

A county council spokeswoman said the authority will consider suggestions made and look at how they will affect the whole town.

She said that altering parking restrictions is a statutory process and takes time to implement. She added: “We have a duty to enforce the restrictions in place and don’t have discretion to waive enforcement in certain locations.”