North Sunderland Parish Council round-up: White lines, parking, planning and lighting

Seahouses
Seahouses

Parish councillors have voted to back a six-month trial of no central white line plus advisory cycle lanes on one of the main streets in Seahouses.

The option arose after the B1340 was resurfaced from Beadnell north to the roundabout where King Street meets Main Street.

It would see cycle lanes installed on either side of King Street and there would be no central white line.

County councillor John Woodman told Monday night’s meeting that he took the opportunity to suggest going down this route before all of the lines were repainted.

“The reason I suggested it is because people have been complaining about speeding on King Street,” he said, explaining that he had seen a similar set-up in Corbridge.

“It’s just a suggestion, no one’s making you.”

One of the first, and most obvious, concerns was that the street is used for parking, but Coun Woodman explained that the cycle lanes would be advisory so cars could still park there.

Coun Mick McCarthy admitted that he had doubts at first, but having looked into it, recognised the potential merits. “People drive a bit more cautiously,” he said.

Coun David Donaldson added: “It’s actually quite attractive without a white line down the middle.”

However, some members still had serious doubts.

Coun Tom Orrin said: “I think they should put it back. I think we need a white line for safety reasons.”

Referring to the parking issue specifically, Coun Sylvia Hillan said: “I think there will be an uproar. I think we are asking for trouble.”

A majority of members voted to back the proposals, so long as it can be returned to normal if unsuccessful.

• Holiday-home owners are responsible for plenty of the village’s parking problems – a continual issue in Seahouses, according to one councillor.

Coun Maureen Bramley told the meeting that it was time to ‘get on her soapbox’ as she had in previous years.

“People are advertising holiday homes and they don’t have enough parking, some don’t have any parking.

“Last week, there was an incident in which people almost came to blows over inconsiderate parking.

“Unfortunately, double-yellow lines are not going to make a difference if they are not enforced; it’s going to need a multi-agency, pro-active approach. It was bad when I first brought it up and it’s just not getting any better.”

Coun John Woodman said that he had managed to persuade the county council to agree to undertake a full review of the car park in the centre of the village with a view to providing more spaces.

• Members had no objections to plans for a dormer window at 16 Taylor Street; a two-storey extension at 12 Staple Court; an extension and a new pitched roof on the existing side extension at 21 Kippy Law; and a hanging sign at 33 Main Street. However, on the latter bid, councillors said they were happy so long as it is fixed and doesn’t swing.

• Ahead of the county council’s streetlight replacement programme coming to Seahouses, set to be in March next year, members are to consider where additional lights may be needed or where existing lights may not be needed.