Councillor hits back over free parking ‘chaos’

Alnwick’s ward councillor has reacted angrily to claims that there was chaos on the first day of free parking in the town, reported last week.

Alnwick Chamber of Trade chairman Carlo Biagioni told the Gazette that a number of people were still paying to park and others were being caught out by time limits last Tuesday.

But Coun Gordon Castle described the comments as ‘misguided and regrettable’.

“It’s not chaos and it wasn’t chaos,” he said. “One or two people might have been caught out by the time limits but they were made very clear.

“The information was in the county council motion and publicised in the Gazette.

“The time limits were in place for the very reason that we wanted to avoid chaos by keeping the traffic moving.

“A lot of people worked very hard to get it done at late notice.

“You cannot please everybody and some traders are among the worst and just moan whatever happens.”

The Lib-Dem administration at County Hall had opposed the week of free parking and warned that there would be chaos if it was put into action.

On Christmas Eve, the last day of the scheme, Mr Biagioni said: “In general, it’s been a really good result. We actually really believe it’s a good idea to have time limits, especially in Bondgate Within.

“We really believe the town would be really wealthy if we could get free parking but with time restrictions.”