Free parking in Alnwick from April next year

Parking on the cobbles in the centre of Alnwick.
Parking on the cobbles in the centre of Alnwick.

Councillors have agreed a plan for free, time-limited parking in Alnwick, starting with a year’s trial from April 2014.

Following the county council elections in May, the Labour administration offered the chance for towns and parishes to decide if they want free parking by developing their own plans.

And at last Thursday’s meeting, members of Alnwick Town Council signed off their plan, one of the first to have progressed to this stage. Now, the plan goes to the county council for implementation.

Free, time-limited parking was felt to be the best option as it may help safeguard the vitality of the town centre, reduce costs for those who work in the town, ensure a level playing field with the rest of the county and reduce congestion in side streets.

The changes to the parking system did raise a number of issues, which were discussed by a car parking working group.

As such, the council has made seven recommendations as part of its plan (see right).

Coun Alan Symmonds said: “I would like to thank the working party for meeting and thinking about it and thrashing out the issues. I think it’s a very good document.”

He also praised the minority Labour administration at County Hall. “There has been nothing put in our way in seeking what, as the report says, will have benefits in various ways.”