Enforcement is key to solving parking issues

Cars parked along Main Street in Seahouses.
Cars parked along Main Street in Seahouses.
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The parking problem in the centre of Seahouses can only be solved by enforcement, not a change in the rules – that’s the view of councillors.

At Monday night’s meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council, members heard that the county council has proposed introducing a no parking at any time zone, including for blue-badge holders, on Main Street.

The scheme would include a 25-metre loading bay to allow for deliveries to the street’s businesses.

Despite the double-yellow lines which are currently in place, cars regularly park on both sides of the street, which had led to issues with buses being able to get down.

County councillor Guy Renner-Thompson said: “I wanted to see a less absolute approach. We only have a problem at certain times of the day. Apart from the buses, I don’t think it’s a major problem because people park there to nip in and out of shops because they are on double-yellow lines.”

Parish councillors did put forward suggestions for alternatives, but their overall view was that any scheme is pointless unless it is enforced properly, which doesn’t happen at the moment.

Coun Mick McCarthy suggested timed parking bays on one side of the street with a no-parking zone on the church side to avoid the issues caused by double parking, while Coun Maureen Bramley asked whether the restrictions could apply only between the hours of 8am and 6pm, allowing more flexibility in the early morning and evenings when there is less traffic. It was felt that time restrictions would be more suitable than seasonal limits, as the village has visitors all year round now.

Coun Sylvia Hillan pointed out that the bus issue could quite easily be solved by a conversation between Arriva and the Co-op so the buses and delivery wagons were not there at the same time.

The introduction of any new parking scheme would only take place after a public consultation.