Buses diverted as vehicles block route to station stops

Vivien Kay's photograph of congestion at Curly Lane
Vivien Kay's photograph of congestion at Curly Lane

Inconsiderate parkers have been criticised for causing chaos on the approach to a north Northumberland railway station.

The situation was so bad last week that Arriva’s X18, which serves Alnmouth Station, had to be diverted because stationary vehicles made nearby Curly Lane impassable.

It’s not the first time that buses have had trouble reaching stops close to the facility because of parked vehicles.

Nick Knox, area managing director for Arriva North East, said: “Last week we did experience some problems serving Almouth Station as the road was not passable due to parked vehicles. The vehicles in question were causing an obstruction; therefore we had to divert the service via Lesbury Road.

“This has been a recurring problem for a number of years.”

Parking issues around the station are long-standing and while it was hoped that the new station car park opened in 2011 would help, it appears there are still problems.

In a letter sent to the Gazette last week, Vivien Kay from South View, Lesbury, criticised the situation.

She said: “The parking at the station is beyond a joke, with people leaving their cars for up to two weeks, preventing daily commuters from using the car parks and causing them to park indiscriminately on Curly Lane, South View and the Bilton road.

“Travellers expecting to find parking spaces at the station leave home at the last minute and then abandon their cars so they don’t miss the train.

“While the argument rages on about parking charges at the station and residents’ parking bays in Hipsburn, bus users are left to bear the brunt of inconsiderate drivers’ thoughtless parking.”

The area in question falls within the Alnwick ward of Couns Gordon Castle and Heather Cairns.

Coun Castle suggested two solutions – a residents’ parking scheme, which would need to go out to consultation, and limiting parking times at the station.

Coun Cairns said she was aware of the problem and had every intention of getting it sorted in conjunction with residents. She said that parking at the station was insufficient to deal with the demand.