Concerns over Christmas free-parking system

Today is the first day of a week of free parking in Alnwick, but concerns have been raised about signage along with warnings about time limits.

At a full meeting earlier this month, members of Northumberland County Council voted 23 to 22 to reinstate the tradition in Alnwick, which runs from today until Christmas Eve.

Shoppers are being reminded that parking is free, as unlike in previous years, the meters are not covered up and some people have been putting money in despite a notice explaining the details.

And time limits still apply for the parking, which means that cars can still be ticketed if they stay longer than is permitted.

Alnwick Chamber of Trade chairman Carlo Biagioni said that he has seen people paying as they have not read or seen the signs. He is placing notices on the machines by the coin slots to ensure people know that parking is free and to warn them about the time limits.

“The town is in chaos at the moment,” he said. “We have been putting notices on the machines around the town and in as many businesses as possible trying to prevent people getting upset when they received a fine unintentionally.

“I met the traffic wardens and they agreed with me and were very helpful regarding this issue.

“Especially at this time of year, people do not need anymore stress.

“Shoppers and traders, remember to use your disc, if you have one, in the short-stay parking areas.”

The free parking runs from Tuesday, December 18 until Christmas Eve in the following places in Alnwick: On-street – Bondgate Within, Clayport Street, Market Street, Pottergate. Off-street – Bondgate Hill Cobbles, Fenkle Street Cobbles, Greenwell Road, Roxbro Place, Dispensary Street, Pottergate New Row.