Summit meeting to discuss parking concerns on the Northumberland coast

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A summit meeting is to be held to discuss issues caused by large numbers of visitors on the Northumberland coast.

Representatives from numerous coastal villages are set to meet with Northumberland County Council officers in the next few weeks.

Parking problems have been a major feature of the summer season with more people than normal taking a staycation in Northumberland.

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Cllr Wendy Pattison, Longhoughton ward member on Northumberland County Council, said: “Since lockdown ended, Newton by the Sea, Longhoughton, Craster, Embleton, Boulmer and Dunstan Steads have been under the greatest pressure in living times coping with a huge amount of visitors.

Parking congestion in Craster.Parking congestion in Craster.
Parking congestion in Craster.

"We are living through unprecedented times and although the residents/villages are used to tourism they are not equipped to deal with the hundreds of cars and people who have come to Northumberland on holiday.

“Many of the villages in my ward are currently undergoing or have undergone a traffic review, however, because many of them lie within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty the layout of many the villages, single lane with narrow roads, they can't be urbanised which would spoil the character of the village.”

She wrote to council cabinet colleagues last week to ask for help.

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“They have reacted quickly to this and a coastal summit will be held with all coastal village representatives in the next few weeks,” she said. “I will look at a number of issues around increased tourist numbers and the effect on our coastal communities.”

Parking in Boulmer.Parking in Boulmer.
Parking in Boulmer.

Concerns about the situation have also been raised by Longhoughton Parish Council which has now launched a major traffic review, with guidance from Northumberland County Council.

Cllr Pattison revealed that Embleton ‘has been under siege with parked cars and obstruction difficulties all along Sea Lane which leads to the beach’.

There have also been parking issues in Newton by the Sea.

“Craster is currently completely and utterly overwhelmed with visitors,” Cllr Pattison added.

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“Boulmer residents have been under great pressure, with vehicles, camper vans parked everywhere and anywhere and I commend the residents equanimity and forbearance during the long summer months.

“Dunstan Steads has also been swamped with visitors and traffic managers are looking to see what can be done to assist.”

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