Council is accused of going back on its word

Parking in Quarry Car Park, Craster
Parking in Quarry Car Park, Craster

A parish council chairman has accused Northumberland County Council of going back on its word after claiming that promises to expand a village car park have never materialised.

Coun Bryn Owen made the statement at Craster’s parish meeting, which was held in the Memorial Hall earlier this month.

He said that the authority had promised to extend the Quarry Car Park this financial year, using money recouped from charges at the site.

He added that the extra spaces would help ease the chronic parking problems in the village, especially during the busy summer months.

However, he says that the county council has subsequently done a U-turn.

But a spokeswoman for the county council said the authority is still investigating whether the project is feasible.

At the meeting, Coun Owen said: “The county council promised two and a half years ago to spend the money on traffic management in the village, but they didn’t do it. They get £80,000 or £90,000 a year for that car park, yet they won’t expand it.”

After the meeting, he told the Gazette: “They went round to each parish and asked ‘do we want to retain the charges or what it to be free?’

“We agreed that we would support them retaining the charges if the money was spent on traffic problems in the area – extending the car park.

“We did some work with them in the spring and they were planning to do it in this financial year.

“But then we were contacted saying they were no longer doing it. They went back on their word.”

But a spokeswoman for the county council said: “Earlier this year, Northumberland County Council carried out works in the Craster Quarry Car Park creating 30 extra parking spaces.

“We have also agreed to carry out a feasibility study to look into the possibility of moving the quarry fence/boundary to create more capacity in the car park.

“Following this study we will be in a position to decide if this option is feasible both in terms of construction and cost.”