Parking problems in Amble need to be solved, or the town’s ambitious harbour village scheme could be jeopardised, it has been claimed.
Town mayor Craig Weir raised his concerns at Monday’s parish meeting, amid frustrations over the length of time it is taking the county council to produce traffic plans for Amble.
An initial parking review closed on January 8, but despite town council pressure, there is no date for public consultation.
And with parking already a big problem in the town, Coun Weir fears the delay could have a severe knock-on effect on the success of the £2.5million seafood-town project, which includes creating a harbour village.
He said: “The town council has had meetings with the county council. We are poking people with a big stick to get the consultation off the ground. The harbour village is costing all this money, but without the parking issue solved, it could impact on what we are trying to achieve. I find that very sad, because the harbour village is a great scheme.”
Ann Burke, chairman of the re-formed Amble Business Club, raised similar fears, saying: “There is concern on Queen Street that the development on the harbour area is going to take trade away from the street due to the lack of parking in the town centre and the lack of street signage.”
The seafood town project was drawn up by the county council, in partnership with Amble Development Trust, town council and others.
The meeting heard that one possible short-term solution to alleviate traffic issues could be to use the cleared Coquet Shorebase Trust site as an overflow car-park, but this would not be a long-term fix.
The development trust’s Julia Aston said the harbour village coordinator will ensure that the business community benefits from the project.
After the meeting, a county council spokeswoman said that a meeting was held on May 8 with the town council and county council officers had tabled proposals developed in response to requests from the town council to look at Amble’s parking restrictions. She added: “Plans were left with the town council for consideration/annotation. No annotated plans/comments have been received.”
Town council clerk Elaine Brown said members were due to see the plans a week before May 8, but they did not arrive.
Therefore, another meeting took place last Thursday to give members the chance to look properly at the plans.